New Ability to Update HD Maps Lets DRIVE Mapping Chart Safer Course for Autonomous Driving

DRIVE MapStream software helps keep HD maps fresh.
by Justyna Zander

Sensors and onboard computers help self-driving cars see, plan and act. With NVIDIA DRIVE Mapping software, they can also make sure vehicles stay on the right path.

DRIVE Mapping allows vehicles to navigate anywhere in the world. It uses maps from partners such as Baidu, HERE, TomTom, NavInfo and Zenrin to localize vehicles to high-definition maps with unprecedented breadth and accuracy.

HD maps are a vital component to self-driving technology. They make it possible for driverless vehicles to know precisely where they are on the road, which lane they’re in and where they can safely go.

Using the sensors and compute of vehicle fleets on the road, NVIDIA is providing its many partners the ability to update these HD maps and keep them fresh.

Staying Up to Speed

Roads are constantly changing. Consider your daily commute. Construction zones can pop up, accidents can occur, or weather can affect road conditions — all of which can cause lane closures or other obstructions to a routine drive.

HD maps provide highly detailed information about commonly traveled roadways. But without constant updates, they can’t account for these spontaneous changes. With DRIVE Mapping, vehicles can help keep these maps up to date, improving safety and efficiency.

By taking in sensor data and processing it on the high-performance DRIVE platform, DRIVE MapStream facilitates the update of cloud-based HD maps from NVIDIA mapping partners, such as HERE and TomTom.

“HERE and NVIDIA have collaborated to work seamlessly with HERE’s HD Live Map for the critical features of localization and keeping the HD Live Map fresh through vehicle sensor data,” said Matt Preyss, product marketing manager for Autonomous Driving at HERE.

Perception software detects semantic landmarks, like traffic lights, signs or barriers, in the vehicle’s environment to compare with those from the HD mapping provider. Using DRIVE MapStream, that data is uploaded to the cloud, updating the map with any new or changed features on the roadway.

Autonomous vehicles can then access up-to-date maps, allowing them to navigate the path ahead.

“OEMs and Tier 1’s can use the NVIDIA DRIVE system to rapidly deploy highway automated driving features in their cars with TomTom’s up-to-date HD maps,” said Frans de Rooij, regional director of Product Management at TomTom.

Finding New Roads

Though mapping providers have extensive coverage around the world, some less-frequented roads, like neighborhood streets and driveways, may not make it on an HD map. By using similar processes as described above — along with data filtering, fusion and processing using DRIVE MapServices in the cloud — DRIVE Mapping can help fill in the gaps.

Perception software on the NVIDIA DRIVE platform detects semantic landmarks based on sensor data from vehicles driving within the new mapping territory. This data is then fused with information from previous drives to build the map called MyRoute.

Car manufacturers and individuals can use this functionality to create personalized maps. The software can track a user’s commonly traveled route, like their daily commute or school carpool routine, and create an individualized map. MyRoute then enables a vehicle to drive this path door-to-door, navigating driveways and parking lots for the utmost convenience and efficiency.

DRIVE Mapping software is applicable anywhere in the world and an open platform: We welcome mapping providers and manufacturers to join the DRIVE platform ecosystem. Learn more here.