Menu
Mapping start-up partners with Microsoft in self-driving car push

Mapping start-up partners with Microsoft in self-driving car push

Mapbox competes against Alphabet’s Google Maps

Mapping start-up Mapbox is teaming up with Microsoft, Intel and Softbank Groups ARM Holdings chip unit to deepen its push into providing maps for self-driving cars.

Mapbox does not make a mapping app itself. It instead competes against Alphabet’s Google Maps and HERE Technologies, the map firm owned by a group of companies, to provide the underlying maps inside of other apps.

Mapbox maps are found in Snap's messaging app and the Instacart grocery delivery app.

But the Washington, D.C.-founded start-up, which has raised about $228 million from Softbank's Vision Fund, DFJ Growth and others, has been pushing into providing tools for software developers who are making the software for self-driving cars.

“Our main focus has been in making maps for humans," Mapbox CEO Eric Gundersen told Reuters in an interview. But maps for self-driving cars are read by the cars' computers and need more detailed data, he said.

At an event it held for software developers in San Francisco, Mapbox announced a handful of partnerships designed to make its technology more useful for self-driving cars.

One of Mapbox's products is software that lets either a mobile phone or a car's computer see the road as the car drives, picking out things like lanes or speed-limit signs. The company said it will weave that software together with an offering from Microsoft.

The combination will let drivers in the car see real-time events like speed limit changes but then split off some of the camera data and send it to Microsoft's cloud computer service, Azure.

Once there, the data can be processed later by powerful servers to help improve the algorithms that help self-driving cars navigate.

Separately, Mapbox is also working with chipmaker ARM to optimise its self-driving vision software so features detected by ARM's chips can be recognised as lanes, pedestrians and road signs even faster.

In one form or another, ARM's chips power the majority of mobile phones, tablets and other mobile computers that are making their way into cars.

Mapbox is also pairing with Intel's Mobileye self-driving unit, which the chipmaker purchased last year for US$15.3 billion.

Mobileye is building its own detailed database of road features that is stored in the cloud. Mapbox has built software that will live in cars to beam down Mobileye's data without hogging up mobile data bandwidth.

Cars that use the system will get a constant map ahead of about 200 metres (660 ft), providing a key back-up to the car's onboard sensors, the companies said.

(Reporting by Stephen Nellis; Editing by Marguerita Choy)


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags MicrosoftintelMapBox

Featured

Slideshows

Leading female front runners of the Kiwi ICT industry honoured at 2019 WIICTA

Leading female front runners of the Kiwi ICT industry honoured at 2019 WIICTA

Reseller News has honoured the leading female front runners of the New Zealand ICT industry at the 2019 Women in ICT Awards (WIICTA) in Auckland. The awards recognised standout individuals across six categories, spanning Entrepreneur, Rising Star, Shining Star, Community, Technical and Achievement. Photos by Gino Demeer.

Leading female front runners of the Kiwi ICT industry honoured at 2019 WIICTA
Reseller News kicks off awards season in 2019 with Judges' Lunch

Reseller News kicks off awards season in 2019 with Judges' Lunch

The 2019 Reseller News Innovation Awards has kicked off with the Judges Lunch in Auckland with 70 judges in the voting panel. The awards will reflect the changing dynamics of the channel, recognising excellence across customer value and innovation - spanning start-ups, partners, distributors and vendors. Photos by Christine Wong.

Reseller News kicks off awards season in 2019 with Judges' Lunch
Reseller News welcomes industry figures for 2019 Hall of Fame lunch

Reseller News welcomes industry figures for 2019 Hall of Fame lunch

Reseller News welcomed 2018 inductees - Chris Simpson, Kendra Ross and Phill Patton - to the third running of the Reseller News Hall of Fame lunch, held at the French Cafe in Auckland. The inductees discussed the changing landscape of the technology industry in New Zealand, while outlining ways to attract a new breed of players to the ecosystem. Photos by Gino Demeer.

Reseller News welcomes industry figures for 2019 Hall of Fame lunch
Show Comments