Uber is stepping up its mapping efforts, as the company now has its own branded mapping vehicles. Recently, the company missed out on an opportunity to acquire Nokia's HERE mapping service, but did end up acquiring Bing's mapping assets and team members. In an effort to ramp up data collection for its routing and more importantly its autonomous cars effort, it appears as though Uber will be putting its own mapping vehicles on the road.
The company has also deployed a separate fleet of mapping vehicles near Uber's Advanced Technology Centers at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh and near the University of Arizona, with which Uber has partnerships. These vehicles, which use proprietary technology instead of Bing's technology, are meant to capture images to inform routing as well as safety needs specifically for Uber's autonomous cars.
With this, Uber hopes to gain a better understanding of not only routing, but also ETAs and such to gain enough information to be able to avoid those situations.