Tech Transformers

Uber has hired another Google Maps exec


Uber has snagged another executive from Google Maps as it pushes to build its own mapping technology and driverless cars.

Manik Gupta, who was at Google Maps for seven years, has joined the ride-sharing app as director of product for maps, according to a LinkedIn post from Tuesday.

"I was very fortunate to be a part of the amazing journey as Google Maps got to more than a billion users and online maps of the entire world. I learnt a lot, especially how to motivate high performing teams and deliver on bold, long-term bets," Gupta wrote.

"I am very excited by Uber's vision. There are very few companies that create such rapid and sustained change in consumer behavior and I am excited by what's next."

Uber's legal battle and the future of delivery

Gupta follows his former Google Map colleague, Brian McClendon, who joined Uber during the summer.

The move highlights the $50 billion start-up's focus on mapping technology. Uber lost out to a consortium of German carmakers earlier this year to purchase Nokia's HERE mapping system.

Since then, it has bought some mapping technology from Microsoft and to provide Uber drivers with digital maps and traffic data.

Uber is trying to move away from its reliance on Google's mapping system and wants to control its own assets as it looks to expand beyond taxis. Last week, Ryan Graves, Uber's head of global operations told CNBC that the company increasingly sees itself as a "logistics platform" as it experiments with food deliveries and even delivering flu jabs.

And mapping is seen as a key component to driverless cars. Uber opened a research center in partnership with Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) in Pittsburgh, earlier this year to explore the technology.

Graves also said that autonomous vehicles won't be on the road "very quickly", but the ride hailing service is open to partnerships with other technology companies in the area.