It is being reported that Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) is planning to launch its own Uber style taxi service.
However, rather than simply being another addition to what is quickly becoming an already crowded ride-sharing marketplace, Google’s offering could involve passengers taking a ride in one of its driverless cars.
According to Bloomberg News, David Drummond, Google’s chief legal officer, who interestingly also sits on Uber’s board, has already informed Uber that Google is planning to offer a ride sharing service in conjunction with Google’s Self Driving Car project.
Furthermore, Uber’s board of directors have apparently even seen screenshots of Google’s taxi app, a version of which is already being used by Google employees in the United States.
The news regarding Google launching its own taxi app is interesting itself, not to mention the links to driverless cars. However, the news is also more intriguing given the fact that Google is an important and large investor in Uber, with the company currently using Google Maps for navigation of its global taxi service.
Officially, neither Google or Uber has made any comment on the Bloomberg story. However, you would expect Uber to be far from pleased about the news.
It is unclear at this stage if David Drummond will be required to leave his position on the board of Uber due to conflict of interest and Google’s plan to launch a taxi app will impact on Uber using Google Maps.
In other news, TechCrunch, somewhat coincidentally given the timing, is reporting that Uber is also investing in its own self driving car project and is opening a robotic research facility in partnership with the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University.
Google has of course been developing self driving cars since 2009 and recently unveiled the latest version of its driverless car.
Jonathan is our Google Nexus and Android enthusiast. He is also fanatical about football which makes it all the more strange that he should support Stockport County. In addition to writing about tech, Jonathan has a passion for fitness and nutrition and has previously written for one the UK’s leading watch and horology websites.