Sunday, July 21, 2024

Map makers hold the key to autonomous vehicles

One of the most intriguing automotive announcements at this January’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) lacked any of the usual fanfare, instead being buried in a Volvo/Polestar press release: Google is getting into the high-definition maps business with a new company called Geo Automotive.

A single quote from the division head, Jorgen Behrens, summed up in the release what this potentially game changing new company will do: “Google’s new HD map is designed specifically for auto makers and provides comprehensive lane-level and localisation data that is crucial to powering the next generation of assisted and autonomous driving systems.” 

The maps will inform the new Volvo EX90 and related Polestar 3 electric SUVs, ultimately helping them drive autonomously for limited periods. Google will also expand its HD mapping knowledge using data extracted from the two new models, potentially adding more across the industry.

“We see this as more of an ecosystem, and we hope they sign other car makers.

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