Uber Technologies is acquiring deCarta, a location-based services (LBS) startup based in San Jose, California. The ride-sharing company is making its first acquisition to improve its service.

deCarta offers a full set of LBS technology, which is scalable to meet the needs of companies. Its services include mapping, location search and geocoding, routing, turn-by-turn navigation application/SDK for automobile and mobile applications, and high-quality APIs as well as developer-friendly “DevZone.”

UBER

Uber confirmed the transaction

According to TechCrunch, a spokesman from Uber confirmed that the company is close to reaching an agreement to acquire deCarta. The representative did not provide details regarding the financial terms of the deal.

Uber’s spokesman said acquiring deCarta would help the ride-sharing company enhance its products and services since it is dependent on mapping technologies.

“A lot of the functionality that makes the Uber app so reliable, affordable and seamless is based on mapping technologies. With the acquisition of deCarta, we will continue to fine-tune our products and services that rely on maps…”

Acquisition could reduce Uber’s reliance on Google maps

Market observers suggested that Uber’s acquisition of deCarta is noteworthy because it could reduce its reliance on Google maps.

In its website, deCarta pointed out the there’s no reason for companies like Uber to sacrifice its business model brand or control of content by using generic consumer mapping services provided by Google or Bing.

deCarta emphasized that its LBS platform offers comparable technology, but it is customizable to fit the needs of every company. The company previously powered some of the largest global LBS including Google Maps from 2005 to 2008.

Take note that Google is one of the investors of Uber. According to TechCrunch, some people believed that the relationship between Uber and Google is “fairly tense.”  People suggested that a tension between the two companies exist after Uber opened its robotics research facility in Pittsburg to develop self-driving cars.

Uber aims to develop the self-driving cars’ core technology and associated infrastructures as well as the vehicles at the Pittsburg facility. The company already hired a number of staff and made investments in software and third-party engineering stations.

Everybody knows that Google has been developing self-driving cars. There were also speculations that the search engine giant is creating a service that would rival Uber.