BMW Joins Crowdsourced Mapping Efforts to Help Bring About Self-Driving Cars

The move will equip future models with technology to map the world and pave the way for autonomous technology.

byLiane Yvkoff| UPDATED Feb 22, 2017 12:22 AM
BMW Joins Crowdsourced Mapping Efforts to Help Bring About Self-Driving Cars

If autonomous vehicles are to navigate safely on roads with frequently changing conditions, they're going to need maps that offer near real-time information and pin-point accuracy. That's why BMW is joining Mobileye's efforts to crowdsource high definition maps using anonymized data from millions of vehicles on the road. The German manufacturer announced Tuesday that it will equip newly developed models entering the market in 2018 with Mobileye’s Road Experience Management (REM) data generation technology. 

How it works

Mobileye's REM uses cameras and sensors to collect information about the vehicle's driving path geometry and stationary landmarks around it. The data is analyzed on board, and relevant information is packaged into small capsules called Road Segment Data (RSD), and sent to the cloud. The Israel-based technology company's map aggregating server analyzes and reconciles the RSD to build Roadbook, a highly detailed map that will be will be integrated into HERE's HD Live Map

Many companies working together to crowdsource high-def maps

BMW owns a stake in HERE and will benefit from this frequently updated crowdsourced mapping layer as it implements advanced driver assistance systems and autonomous technology. The German auto manufacturer announced that it is working with Mobileye and Intel to bring "highly automated" driving to market by 2021 with the BMW iNEXT.

“At a strategic level, this announcement makes it clear how our cooperation with Mobileye leverages our investment stake in HERE. The data of future BMW vehicles will enrich the quality of maps and services for everyone," said BMW board member Klaus Fröhlich in a statement. 

"Furthermore, this represents a significant step towards introducing the BMW iNEXT with its features of highly automated driving in 2021 as well as creating a leading ecosystem around HERE’s Open Location Platform leveraged by swarm data from millions of vehicles across the world,” he continued.

Last week Mobileye announced that it partnered with Volkswagen, which is also a co-owner of HERE, to equip vehicles with REM and crowdsource mapping data.