Mapping software is a crucial element of self-driving technology. That’s a major reason Google took an early lead in autonomous car tech and why a trio of German automakers spent $3 billion to purchase the mapping giant HERE.
While Google and HERE have teams of dedicated vehicles out mapping the worlds’ roads and their surroundings, Mobileye wants to exponentially expand the gathering of real-world, situational data for self-driving cars through its Road Experience Management (REM) platform. And it just signed up another major automaker to be a part of a crowd-sourcing effort that could eventually include millions of cars.
Mobileye has announced an agreement with Nissan to implement REM technology in its vehicles. The Japanese automaker joins BMW and Volkswagen in allowing the REM platform to capture anonymized data via company’s in-car cameras and sensors to create what Mobileye calls a RoadBook mapping database.
The Nissan agreement is the first major deal with an automaker since the announcement last month that Mobileye would be acquired by Intel for $15 billion, and it follows a proof-of-concept project last year in which Nissan used Mobileye’s REM mapping technology in self-driving car demonstrations in London. Mobileye said in a statement that the “agreement furthers an inclusive approach, as data from multiple automakers can be merged to create the most scalable, robust, geographically-diverse, and rapidly-updating RoadBook in a low-cost, efficient manner.”
HERE has also pushed for similar map-data sharing among automakers outside of its core German owners. Earlier this year HERE announced that it will also be contributing to the REM platform via BMW vehicles to allow for real-time map updates that can pinpoint temporary changes to roadways such as constructions zones.
Since Nissan, Volkswagen and BMW sold roughly 1 in 5 vehicles globally last year, based on IHS Markit data, the addition of this latest automotive partner means Mobileye is moving closer to creating mapping that will allow cars to become more aware of their surroundings. And better drive themselves.
Originally published by Forbes.com