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It is time for autonomous vehicle developers to break new ground.
NVIDIA has agreed to acquire DeepMap, a startup dedicated to developing high-resolution maps for autonomous vehicles to navigate the world safely.
“The acquisition is an endorsement of DeepMap’s unique vision, technology and people,” said Ali Kani, vice president and general manager of automotive at NVIDIA. “DeepMap is expected to expand our map products, help us to scale global map operations and expand our extensive know-how in the field of autonomous driving.”
“NVIDIA is an amazing world-changing company that shares our vision to accelerate safe autonomy,” said James Wu, co-founder and CEO of DeepMap. “Working with NVIDIA will enable our technology to scale faster and benefit more people sooner. We look forward to continuing our journey as part of the NVIDIA team. “
Maps that are accurate to within a few meters are good enough to provide turn-by-turn directions for people. However, AVs require much greater precision. You have to be precise to the nearest centimeter to enable accurate localization, the ability of an AV to localize itself in the world.
Correct localization also requires constantly updated maps. These maps must also reflect the current road conditions, such as a work zone or a lane closure. These cards must scale efficiently across AV fleets, with fast processing and minimal data storage. After all, they have to work worldwide.
Experienced card manufacturers
DeepMap was founded five years ago by James Wu and Mark Wheeler, veterans of Google, Apple and Baidu, among others. The The US-based company has developed a high definition mapping solution that meets these requirements and has already been validated by the AV industry with a large number of potential customers around the world.
A DeepMap map in San Jose, California depicting highly detailed features of the street and the surrounding city block environment, including a reliable semantic information layer with key attributes such as navigable boundaries, lane boundaries, zebra crossings, road signs and traffic lights, explicit and implicit yield lines and lane connectivity.
The team, which is primarily based in the San Francisco Bay Area, has decades of shared experience in mapping technology and developed a solution that takes autonomous vehicles into account, both card makers and card consumers. Using crowdsourced data from vehicle sensors, DeepMap can create a high-resolution map that is continuously updated as you drive.
Ongoing partner support
NVIDIA will continue to work with the DeepMap ecosystem to meet their needs and invest in new skills and services for new and existing partners.
NVIDIA DRIVE is an end-to-end software-defined platform – from deep neural network training and validation in the data center to high-performance computing in the vehicle – that enables continuous improvement and delivery via over-the-air updates.
DeepMap’s technology will further strengthen the mapping and localization capabilities available on NVIDIA DRIVE, ensuring that autonomous vehicles always know exactly where they are and where they are going.
“We are excited to welcome the DeepMap team to NVIDIA. You have a proven track record and are entrepreneurial, agile, and engineer-oriented. DeepMap fulfills a huge need in the industry and together we will develop and expand those capabilities, ”said Kani.
The acquisition is expected to close in the third calendar quarter of 2021, subject to regulatory approval and customary closing conditions.