NEW YORK (Reuters) - Ride-hailing service Uber [UBER.UL] has decided to invest $500 million into an ambitious global mapping project to wean itself off dependence on Google Maps and pave the way for driverless cars, the Financial Times reported on Sunday.

The San Francisco-based company is ramping up spending in new technologies such as mapping and driverless cars following new investments into the company earlier this year.

A representative for Uber could not immediately be reached for comment.

(Reporting by Catherine Ngai; Editing by Marguerita Choy)