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Google's Street View head moves to Lyft to work on mapping

Yet another way Lyft is taking on Uber.
Devindra Hardawar, @devindra
February 9, 2017
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Lyft is refocusing its mapping efforts with a major new hire: Luc Vincent, who previously founded and led Google's Street View team. As a vice president of engineering at Lyft, Vincent will be in charge of the company's mapping and marketplace divisions, Recode reports. As you'd expect, he'll initially be focused on making the company's real-time map and navigation capabilities better, but he's also planning to improve how Lyft connects drivers and riders. Looking forward, Vincent also hopes to help out Lyft's self-driving initiatives (obviously, maps are a pretty big deal there).

A single hire won't do much to compete against Uber's recent $500 million mapping investment, but it's a start. As the smaller company, Lyft has to play it smart, so it makes sense to bring on a veteran mapping expert. Lyft is also in an interesting position as it stands to benefit from the wave of people abandoning its rival as part of the #DeleteUber protest. That conflict began with Uber dropping its surge pricing during a recent taxi strike in New York City, but CEO Travis Kalanick's position on Trump's advisor council didn't help. The New York Times claims over 200,000 Uber users ended up deleting their accounts, and Kalanick has since abandoned his plans to work with Trump.

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