But Uber’s new spending on maps and mapping capabilities suggest it might not always be a simple ride-sharing service.
Microsoft, which has been spending internally to develop and sustain its Bing maps service, will no longer collect mapping imagery, and has sold a data center and associated image collection assets to Uber.
As many as 100 engineers who worked on Bing maps might also wind up working for Uber as well.
Uber has committed to spend perhaps $10 million per year just to hire the engineers, assuming that each of them had a $100,000 salary.
Uber earlier had reportedly bid as much as $3 billion for Nokia’s “Here” mapping and navigation business.
In addition to ridesharing, Uber is thought to be angling for a new role in logistics and possibly other businesses as well, possibly including self-driving vehicles that could operate with several different business models.