Uber is killing it. Shortly after the company raised an impressive $258 million in funding from Google Ventures at a $3.5billion valuation, the company is rolling out a new feature, which allows riders to share your estimated times of arrival with their friends.
Other than the new ETA feature, riders can also text a live map of their Uber trip to their contacts, allowing friends to check in on the riders to see where they are. Another new option lets riders plug in their destination to get an estimate of how long it will take Uber to get them where they need to go.
Other than rapidly expanding into new markets especially in Asia, the company has not stopped in innovating its technology. This is a clear sign that the company is rapidly growing: when you stop shipping, your company is dying.
Techcrunch writer Matthew made an interesting observation on the data used by Uber to achieve the goals of estimating ETAs of riders.
Obviously, the company knows exactly when a trip begins and ends. Doing so may be able to help it generate a strong map of inner-city traffic, data that would parallel that which is collected by Waze, the mapping company recently purchased for a bundle by Google. This update is the first time that Uber is making an effort to expose that data to users directly by telling them how long it will take them to get to a location and sharing that data out to others.
Big data is something that we have heard over and over again, and we expect to see the proliferation of this “big data” in our daily lives, and Uber seems to be making a huge stride in leveraging big data in the transportation industry. The data collected by each Uber ride can also be used to map out the flow of traffic in cities.
As Matthew pointed out, Uber already does do some other things with this data, including mapping a detailed network of routes and neighborhoods in cities including San Francisco.
This reinforces a lot on the strategy of Google in its vision to disrupt the transportation industry. Other than working on driverless cars, the acquisition of Waze for almost $1 billion, as well as the huge investment into Uber (through Google Ventures), says a lot in its commitment to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.
Which is why we are really excited for Uber. As David Sacks, the founder and CEO of Yammer puts it, Uber’s market is so much bigger than people think: it’s not a substitute for cabs, it’s a substitute for driving.
Why Uber/Lyft market is so much bigger than people think: it’s not a substitute for cabs, it’s a substitute for driving.
— David Sacks (@DavidSacks) September 12, 2013
Uber is killing it: rolls out ETA And Live Map Sharing Feature – Click To Tweet
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