Uber and Google Have Teamed Up


Uber and Google have teamed up for a better system of navigation and  an upgrade in services offered by bringing the Uber app into the Google maps system so that Uber appears as a ride option when searching for local directions. This is being featured as part of the Maps app on Android and iOS. The Uber integration appears when a user searches for public transit directions, but will only appear if the user is already using the app and has it installed on their phone.

The integration hints at the level in which Google could be invested in Uber.  Soon they will be integrating driver-less vehicles for use in their services and are also trying to compete with Amazon as well as companies with same-day delivery service.  The company Mountain View is currently testing its courier service, called UberRush, in New York City. Amazon may soon be left in the dust should the pairing prove successful. Many may applaud the pairing, while others may not appreciate what the two companies are creating. Uber strongly believes that it will outgrow these delivery start-ups and become an on-demand business which operates mostly by apps. Should Google decide to acquire Uber altogether, great advances could be seen. Right now, although Google owns a major part of Uber, Uber is still moving in its own direction.

According to Financial Times, Uber is set to launch in 100 cities in an attempt to scare off any competition which still exists. Their competitor, Lyft, plans to launch in 24 cities in the U.S. to stay competitive.  When the chief executive of Uber was asked about their competition, he said that he does not really think the cities in which Lyft is launching are even really considered cities.  Uber has come a long way since its beginning as a private limo service which only catered to a small circle of friends. They then began developing an app in 2009. In 2013, it was leaked that Uber had over 400,000 clients creating a weekly income of more than $20 million. At that time, the company was estimated to be worth over $3 billion. Google Ventures was invested in the company, which is why the company can afford to double its service in over 100 cities around the globe, including Bogota, Colombia, and cities in China and India as well.

The chief executive is very confident in the company, noting the fact that even though Uber does not have any operations in Miami, over 150,000 people have opened the app in that city alone. However, since Uber and Google have teamed up, customers can expect promising services in the future. They are currently embroiled in a legal battle with taxi services, but perhaps with growth will come easing of some transportation laws.

When compared to companies such as Amazon, the chief executive remarked that there is really no comparison because Uber operates very unconventionally. He thinks of himself as a lone wolf investor and hopes that his team of employees operates in the same way. Amazon is said to have invested in Uber and may have developed much in the same way as the now booming Uber app service has. Lastly, the chief executive of Uber says he trusts his employees to be independent thinkers as the company launches in these new cities. He gives them freedom to promote their services and recruit employees at their own will.  Many believe the most promising results will come from the fact that Uber and Google have teamed up and hopes stay high that the company will develop more services as the future approaches.

Commentary by Anah Aya

Financial Times

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