​Uber invests in mapping software with deCarta acquisition

Uber has bought deCarta for an undisclosed amount in an effort to enhance its mapping technology, and possibly move away from using maps from Google and Apple.

Uber has bought California-based software mapping company deCarta as it aims to "fine tune" its mapping technology.

An Uber spokesperson told ZDNet that the acquisition of deCarta will enable the company to enhance its existing mapping technology capabilities.

"A lot of the functionality that makes the Uber app so reliable, affordable, and seamless is based on mapping technologies," the spokesperson said.

"With the acquisition of deCarta, we will continue to fine tune our products and services that rely on maps -- for example, UberPool, the way we compute ETAs, and others -- and make the Uber experience even better for our users."

For an undisclosed amount, the acquisition will see deCarta's team of 40 employees join Uber to work on map developments.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the underlying reason behind the acquisition is so the ride-sharing giant can rely less on maps from Google and Apple, which it currently uses.

Last month, Uber partnered with Carnegie Mellon University to launch the Uber Advanced Technologies Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to focus on research and development of new technology, including mapping.

Uber's strategy to lessen its reliance on Google, in particular, comes at a time when the two partners may end up as competitors instead.

Bloomberg had previously reported that Google is preparing to launch its own ride-sharing service, and is already testing its own version of a ride-sharing app internally.

Google's venture capital arm, Google Ventures, invested $250 million in Uber in 2013, and invested an undisclosed amount in another funding round last year.

Google also added integration with Uber into Google Maps mid-last year. Not long after, Google co-founder Sergey Brin said it would use a range of partners, including Uber, when it came time to release its self-driving car project.