UPGRADE 1-Uber to invest $500 million in worldwide mapping job -FT.

(Updates with background on mapping vehicles and spokeswoman
declined to comment) Ride-hailing service Uber
will invest $500 million in an ambitious worldwide
mapping project to wean itself off dependence on Google Maps and
lead the way for driverless automobiles, the Financial Times reported
on Sunday.

The San Francisco-based company is ramping up spending in
brand-new innovations such as mapping and driverless cars following
brand-new investments in the business previously this year, the report
said.

An Uber spokesperson declined to discuss the report.

Last week, Uber executive Brian McClendon, who was formerly
the head of Google Maps, stated the business was “doubling down”
its financial investments in mapping. It put mapping cars on the road in
the United States in 2014 and was sending them into Mexico
this summer, he stated in a declaration posted on Uber’s site.

( Reporting by Catherine Ngai; Editing by Marguerita Choy and
Dan Grebler).

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