Nvidia announced that it has reached an agreement to buy DeepMap, a startup dedicated to the creation of high definition maps for autonomous vehicles to navigate the world safely.
Ali Kani, vice president and general manager of Automotive of Nvidia, said that the acquisition is an approval of the vision, technology and special people who are involved in DeepMap. The startup will then extend Nvidia’s mapping products, helping to improve cartographic operations worldwide and expand the complete autonomous driving experience.
James Wu, co-founder and CEO of DeepMap expressed his satisfaction: .Nvidia is an extraordinary company and able to change the world that shares our vision of accelerating safe autonomy. For Wu, joining forces with Nvidia will allow DeepMap technology to scale faster and deliver concrete benefits to users as soon as possible. DeepMap CEO concluded by saying that it is not time to continue the journey as part of Nvidia team.
Maps that are accurate within a few meters are pretty good when providing step-by-step directions for humans. Self-driving vehicles, however, require much greater precision. They need to operate with an inch accuracy for accurate tracking.
Proper localization also requires constantly updated maps. These maps must also reflect current road conditions, such as a construction site or the closure of a lane. In addition, maps must be scalable efficiently on autonomously driven vehicle fleets, with rapid processing and minimum data storage. Finally, they must be able to function worldwide.
DeepMap, Mapmaker experts at Nvidia Court
DeepMap was founded five years ago by Wu and Mark Wheeler, veterans of Google, Apple and Baidu, among other companies. 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 wide range of potential customers worldwide.
The team, located mainly in the Bay Area of San Francisco, has many decades of collective experience in mapping technology and has developed a solution that considers autonomous vehicles both map makers and map consumers. Using crowdsourcing data from vehicle sensors allows DeepMap to create a high-definition map that is continuously updated while driving the car. NVIDIA will continue working with DeepMap’s ecosystem to meet their needs by investing in new capabilities and services for new and existing partners.
DeepMap technology will 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.
The acquisition should end in the third quarter of 2021, subject to regulatory approval and the usual closing conditions.