The ride sharing service Uber continues to look far beyond simply providing the consumer with an easy option for quick transportation. That became evident with the firm’s recent purchase of Geometric Intelligence Inc., a startup that will move its operations to San Francisco and has artificial intelligence (AI) as one of its cornerstones.
It’s not the first time that Uber has dipped its investment toe into the AI pond, though it does mark a new approach. Previously, the company used AI as a way to have a smoother connection between driver and rider and also to get a gauge on what price points work best.
One of the expansions that Uber has undergone since it began operations has been an attempt to tap into the car pool market. That endeavor, Uber POOL, is something that will likely benefit from additional AI help. The reason is because of the complications that have inevitably resulted from trying to coordinate one driver with individuals in a variety of locations.
Geometric Intelligence’s calling card during their two years of operation is that they’re able to use smaller sets of data to deliver the same type of results that ordinarily require massive amounts of information. The individuals running the company include a cognitive scientist and neurolinguistics expert from NYU, a computer science professor from the University of Central Florida and a machine learning professor from the University of Cambridge.
The ultimate use Uber has for Geometric Intelligence goes far beyond ride sharing, with some business experts assessing the move as a bid to break into the rarefied air of companies like Google, Facebook and Apple.
Uber has already taken small steps from its ride sharing to offer self-driving pickups in Pittsburgh and also purchased a company focused on building self-driving trucks.