According to some reports, GM’s Cruise Automation has decided to foray into HD mapping. The company for the purpose will be recruiting a leader for a new HD-mapping team. The report says that eventually, the mapping efforts will cover 100 cities. The company is trying to gain an edge over would-be rivals in the autonomous car tech field, including Waymo, Tesla etc. Notably, Cruise Automation had started out as an independent company but was acquired by GM last year.
HD maps are indispensable for the self-driving cars and all the companies that are developing self-driving cars are directly or indirectly involved in HD mapping technology too. Some are building it in-house while some are depending on some partners or third parties. For example, Ford is backing Civil Maps and HERE, the mapping service co-owned by Daimler, BMW, and Audi following its acquisition from Nokia. Similarly, Mobileye is working on real-time mapping solutions for autonomous vehicles and has got into partnership with BMW, Nissan, and Volkswagen.
GM has a large number of active vehicles on the road equipped with the advanced sensors needed for HD mapping, so this can provide the company an edge over its competitors. Also, GM is also growing a fleet of Cruise test Chevy Bolt EV cars, which could help with the efforts in those cities where they operate. That sensor data is sorts of building blocks for digital maps different company is approaching it differently to capture it and get it into use.