The race to launch commercially viable autonomous vehicles keeps getting hotter. With venture capitalists pouring several million dollars into the upcoming market, we might expect to see completely autonomous cars on city streets by the end of the decade. But alongside this maverick technology, there is another emerging market that seems destined to captivate the future. It is virtual and augmented reality. Several major tech giants seem to have invested heavily into this sector, and with good reason.
The latest to join this group is Lyft, the on-demand transportation company. Lyft has acquired Blue Vision Labs, a London-based startup that has pioneered a technique to take in street-level imagery and use it render interactive augmented reality simulations. Additionally, the augmented reality environments can be interacted with by multiple users simultaneously. What’s more is that this environment developed by Blue Vision technology can be used to place multiple virtual interactive objects by different users.
For a ride-hailing company, augmented reality-based maps sound like a good way to bolster its autonomous vehicles project, as the maps would improve the self-driving systems in the vehicles. Additionally, the maps would also help the system locate each customer with far greater precision. This acquisition is the first one by Lyft in its efforts to race past its arch-rival Uber. Importantly, it could also be an important milestone as the on-demand transportation provider will be heading for its IPO next year.