Flipkart Unveils its Map Services; Collaborates with MapUnity
Flipkart had purchased a 34% minority stake in MapMyIndia last year, to advance into GPS navigation and services providing tracking of location. This move was also to improve its supply chain and logistics business, which it plans to expand to new cities in the country.
Now, in collaboration with MapUnity, Flipkart has launched its map services for smart cities to solve issues related to transportation and facilities. MapUnity had earlier launched an initiative ‘TechNagara” to bring forward information related to public governance to the residents.
Since smart cities are being built from scratch, every map service will have to start creating a view of these cities, this keeps Flipkart’s map service and Google Maps at par with each other. No service will have an edge and it remains a mystery if Google Maps will be the competitor in this project.
About MapUnity and TechNagara
MapUnity is a venture by Dr. Ashwin Mahesh for all the areas identified as ‘Smart cities’ to provide technological solution for social problems like public transportation, geographic information system(GIS) and local governance.
Involving the residents of these cities and keeping them updated of their surroundings and happenings with enable good governance and also allow them to keep track of developments around them. This includes information about agriculture, traffic, public health, pollution levels, education, economy, demographics and safety & security.
It will engage the public and help grow the area more uniformly and at a higher rate than unplanned cities, owing to the transparency of the initiative.
Talking about the initiative TechNagara, Dr. Ashwin Mahesh said, “This will be a platform that cross-uses drives innovation, features, value. In TechNagara, a single platform can be used for transport, energy, security, tourism for each city, 126 cities in all. The rationale is also that a single tech platform can be used as a smart backbone for many cities. That keeps costs low, which is especially important for Tier 2 cities.”
Flipkart’s Role as a Map Service Provider
Flipkart says the map services will improve its position in handling logistics and supply chain. Having its own maps will allow it to make the transportation flexible and allow immediate changes as opposed to having Google’s Maps.
Flipkart will also be able to independently provide information on traffic and transportation to local authorities and improve its shipment delivery process. Some agencies in Bengaluru like BWSSB, BMTC, BMRDA and BDA are integrating these map services on their platforms.
What remains a question is whether Flipkart will extend its map services to cab aggregators and auto aggregators, since Google Maps has a monopoly in this industry. Flipkart has not released much information about its map services yet, but we’ll let you know as soon as more news comes forward.