NVIDIA is to acquire DeepMap, a company that makes high-definition mapping technology for self-driving cars. “DeepMap is expected to extend our mapping products, help us scale worldwide map operations and expand our full self-driving expertise,” said NVIDIA VP Ali Kani.
DeepMap provides maps with high levels of precision. NVIDIA points out that maps accurate to within a few meters are fine for turn-by-turn GPS directions, but autonomous vehicles require greater accuracy. “They must operate with centimeter-level precision for accurate localization, [so that] an AV can locate itself in the world,” NVIDIA wrote in a blog post.
Frequent updates are also key, so that maps “reflect current road conditions, such as a work zone or a lane closure,” NVIDIA said. They also need to scale easily over large AV fleets and offer “fast processing and minimal data storage.”
NVIDIA plans to integrate the tech into its Drive platform to bolster mapping and localization capabilities. Drive technology is currently used by Mercedes-Benz, Hyundai, Audi, Volvo and others with varying degrees of features and complexity. NVIDIA said it expected to finalize the acquisition in Q3 2021.