Uber poaches former Google Maps chief for its self-driving car project

Uber's poached plenty of robotics experts from Carnegie Mellon and now we know who it's snagged to lead that team to produce something worthwhile. According to Re/code, Uber's new Advanced Technologies Center will be led by former Google VP Brian McClendon, a 10-year veteran of the company. The name may not ring a bell, but McClendon is most famous for co-founding the startup that eventually became Google Earth before making Google Maps what it is today.

Right now, Uber relies upon other businesses' mapping services for its various transport services, something that the company clearly can't rely upon. That's why it's doing its best to build its own super-powerful location platform, and recently purchased deCarta, the firm that powers OnStar's navigation technology. The company also showed off its desire to own a premium GPS technology after tabling a $3 billion bid for Here, the Nokia-owned mapping firm.

As we know, the Advanced Technologies Center is the anodyne name for the Uber's self-driving car project. Given that the company is now on the hook for its employees' expenses, it's clear that human-free hardware can't come fast enough.