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Ola acquires GeoSpoc, a platform that could improve its mapping in real time

Ola’s latest acquisition could be a golden ticket for the company to build maps for various mobility models such as drones.

With emerging technologies such as drones and autonomous transportation getting more mainstream, Ola has acquired geospatial services provider GeoSpoc with an aim to build real-time, three-dimensional vector maps. As part of the acquisition, GeoSpoc CEO Dhruva Rajan and his team of geospatial scientists will be joining Ola to develop “universally accessible” technologies, announced Ola CEO Bhavish Aggarwal in a blogpost.

Aggarwal justified the acquisition by stating that maps need to improve in various ways. The other reasons (which give an insight into what Ola and GeoSpoc would be working on) provided are  —

  • Aggarwal said that accurate and rich maps with high user context should be available to the population beyond the first 100 million users.
  • Multi-modal transportation will need geospatial intelligence to understand the benefits of each option and provide suggestions accordingly, he added.
  • “Maps will need to consider a three dimensional view of the world as aerial mobility models such as drones become more mainstream,” he said.
  • Aggarwal also said that there was a need to incorporate near real-time satellite imagery to provide a better understanding of road quality
  • “Autonomous driving will need HD and 3D maps which will offer superior visualization, dynamic real time updates based on road, traffic and weather conditions,” he said.

Aggarwal also claimed that enhancing geo-spatial services will help in improving urban planning including road works, public transporation, and pre-empt congestion spots.

We have the data and the expertise to build this utilizing our deep understanding of consumer movements as well as our massive network of 2,3 and 4Ws (wheelers) that provide unprecedented geo-spatial details. We can layer this data with new sources such as satellite imagery and visual feeds from our network on-ground to build ‘Living Maps’ that embody the changing landscape of our world — Bhavish Aggarwal, Ola CEO

Last month EV manufacturer Ola Electric raised over $200 million led by Falcon Edge, Softbank and others at a valuation of $3 billion. The company claimed that it will accelerate the development of other vehicle platforms for electric motorbikes, electric cars, and so on.

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Among other subjects, I cover the increasing usage of emerging technologies, especially for surveillance in India

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