2017 has been an eventful year for the autonomous driving industry. It’s also been a big year for DeepMap. We now have active customers and partners across three continents. As we prepare to dive into 2018, we’d like to reflect on some highlights from the year:
- In May, we publicly launched the company and announced funding from Accel, Andreessen Horowitz, and GSR Ventures. Bloomberg Technology wrote: “DeepMap fuses images from digital cameras with data collected using a laser device known as lidar to build detailed 3D maps. It can identify street signs, billboards, and the height of a curb.”
- Andreessen Horowitz’s Hanne Tidman led a lively discussion with esteemed map historian David Rumsey and DeepMap COO Wei Luo on the topic: “How will the nature of maps fundamentally change when they are made by self-driving cars, for self-driving cars, in the era of HD mapping?”
- We announced a collaborative research agreement with Ford. The initial phase of the project will take place in the Bay Area, where Ford’s Silicon Valley Research and Innovation Center and DeepMap are located.
- Business Insider included us on their list of “50 startups that will boom in 2018, according to VCs.” Vas Natarajan of Accel said: “Autonomous vehicles won’t operate with just any mapping system — they need a high-fidelity and multi-dimensional understanding of their location if they’re to safely navigate.”
- DeepMap was featured in an episode of Autonomous Tomorrow. Host Grayson Brulte took a ride in DeepMap’s car and interviewed COO Wei Luo and VP of Business Development James Gowers.
- CNBC listed DeepMap in their story titled: 29 start-ups that prove Silicon Valley innovation isn’t dead, writing: “DeepMap is building machine-readable maps for self-driving cars. The company’s software ingests data from sensors on board autonomous vehicles, and combines it with data from all the cars connected to its system. DeepMap then tells vehicles where they are, what’s around them, and where they can safely go — down to the centimeter.”
- Honda announced it will showcase DeepMap at CES 2018. The collaboration with Honda is an example of how DeepMap can work with companies anywhere in the world to enable highly-scalable and precise high-definition maps for autonomous driving.
Looking ahead, there is still a tremendous amount of work to be done. We are focused on three critical challenges necessary for autonomous vehicle mapping:
- AV maps need to be very precise (centimeter level precision) as well as fresh enough to reflect changes on the roads.
- AV maps need to work seamlessly with the rest of the self-driving system, with high performance.
- AV maps require a new type of software infrastructure. This infrastructure must be able to handle a massive amount of HD map data and enable highly efficient communications between cars and the cloud, at a low cost.
DeepMap is committed to solving these challenges. Throughout the year, we’ve been fortunate to recruit a group of amazing and talented employees with world-class expertise in mapping technologies, cloud infrastructure, software engineering, and operations. We are looking forward to an exciting and productive 2018, filled with many new milestones.
Best wishes for a happy holiday season!
— The DeepMap team