Uber has been getting into a lot of trouble lately, but nothing the company has faced to this point will be as ferocious as the competition the taxi-like service could get from Google in the coming years. Google is reportedly making quiet preparations for its own ride-sharing service, an anonymous source told Bloomberg.
If Google moves forward and launches a competing service, the action will be paramount to turning their back on the former ally and, as is Google’s way, going after Uber with sharpened claws. So far, Google executives have made no formal announcements about such a project, though. Everything we know about the possibility of a Google ride-sharing app comes from Bloomberg’s anonymous source “close to the Uber board” who has shared content from private board meetings. The source suggested that Google’s new product may be based on a ride-sharing app currently being used among its employees and would likely be paired with Google’s driverless car project.
Google Ventures invested over $250 million in Uber in late 2013, and contributed additional funds in 2014. Google and Uber have had a close relationship since the beginning, and many in the tech industry theorized that Google might one day acquire the ride-hailing app. David Drummond, Google’s chief legal officer and senior vice president of corporate development, became a member of the Uber board of directors in 2013 and has held the position ever since. Drummond is the person who allegedly informed the Uber board about the possibility of Google releasing a competing product. The Uber board is allegedly weighing whether to ask Drummond to resign his position as an Uber board member, in light of the possibility of competition from the internet search engine giant.
As as the time of writing, Uber and Google have refrained from commenting directly on the reports. Google’s only response so far has been a cryptic tweet in response to Bloomberg’s article, “We think you’ll find Uber and Lyft work quite well. We use them all the time.”