Dutch navigator TomTom inks maps deal with Uber

Navigation systems maker TomTom has inked a deal to supply maps in more than 300 cities globally.
Navigation systems maker TomTom has inked a deal to supply maps in more than 300 cities globally.TOMTOM

THE HAGUE (AFP) - Dutch vehicle navigations systems maker TomTom said Thursday it has inked a deal with Uber to supply the US ride-sharing service's drivers with maps in more than 300 cities globally.

"TomTom has signed a global, multi-year agreement to provide maps and traffic data for the Uber driver app," the Amsterdam-based TomTom said in a statement.

It did not put a price on the deal.

"We are excited to provide Uber with our best-in-class location data," TomTom's managing director of map and licensing Charles Cautley said.

Once users have an account, they can call an Uber car with a couple of swipes on their smartphone, instead of having to book a taxi or waiting on a street corner waving their arm.

But despite Uber's popularity, the ride-sharing application has been facing a crackdown by many governments and protests by angry taxi drivers, who say Uber should be regulated the same way as normal cabs.

Its controversial low-cost UberPOP service, which lets private car drivers offer taxi services, was banned for instance in France after furious demonstrations.

Today, Uber is Silicon Valley's most visible startup with a market value of US$50 billion (S$70 billion). It is present in 340 cities with three million trips taken daily, according to the company's latest figures.