Uber, the controversial taxi app, has purchased a number of Bing mapping assets from Microsoft. The cab company has also acquired 100 Microsoft staff as part of the deal.
While neither company has officially revealed the price or the motivation behind the deal, it’s thought that the 100 staffers specialise in Bing’s image data. That relates to everything from street view to aerial imaging.
What this means specifically for Uber remains unclear. However, it’s likely to lead to improved vehicle and passenger tracking within the app, which currently allows users to see a virtual representation of cars in their area. It could also help with vehicle recognition.
Uber has been embroiled in a series of controversies in recent months, provoking the ire of licensed taxi drivers in London and being at the forefront of a riot in Paris last week which saw some of its executives arrested and local cabbies involved in violence.
There is no word on when any of Uber’s new tools will find their way into its iOS and Android apps.
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