Uber signed a global multi-year deal with Dutch mapping and navigation leader TomTom, planning to enrich the Uber Driver App with new maps and traffic data.
After losing the bid to acquire Nokia's mapping business earlier this year for roughly $3 billion, Uber is now moving forward with digital mapping plans. It will not replace Google Maps, but will license extensive mapping and navigation data from TomTom.
"We are excited to provide Uber with our best-in-class location data," announced Charles Cautley, TomTom's managing director of Maps and Licensing. "TomTom is a truly independent map provider with the platform for the future. With this platform, TomTom is the trusted partner for innovative and future proof location technology for the global automotive and consumer technology industry."
"TomTom's advanced map-making technology, combined with its world class traffic information, will ensure Uber has a seamless navigation experience, accurate arrival times and efficient journeys in more than 300 cities around the world," further boasts the press release on Thursday, Nov. 12.
Uber continues to grow in popularity and its global operation is rapidly expanding, adding more areas and services. The company is increasingly relying on digital maps and the new partnership with TomTom marks an important step forward.
As part of this multi-year deal, Uber will license mapping and traffic data from TomTom in more than 300 cities. The financial aspects of the deal remain unclear at this time, as Uber did not disclose how much it agreed to shell out for the licensing rights.
The partnership will bring notable benefits to both parties involved. Uber will be able to better position its Uber Driver App, while TomTom gets a boost with another big player. TomTom is also behind Apple Maps' core mapping services, and the new deal with Uber will allow it to better compete against rivals in its category.
Rival services such as Google Maps and Nokia's former Here unit posed some serious competition to TomTom, and both of them have more financial resources to back their services. Nokia's Here unit, for instance, is now owned by a consortium of German carmakers comprising of BMW, Volkswagen and Daimler.
Nevertheless, analysts seem confident that TomTom can find its place pushing its services to those looking for alternatives to Google or the German consortium of automakers.
Uber, for its part, has been keeping close relationships with Google, but it still wants to bet more on its own mapping operations. TomTom can be of great help in such endeavors.