Volkswagen has signed a deal with Mobileye - a leader in providing technology for autonomous driving - to create new 'super navigation data' for cars.
The data will allow autonomous driving vehicles to use collective data from other cars to improve the on board navigation systems. The plans between the two companies also include a way to merge data from other carmakers to further improve the navigation data across a vast network.
VW wants this new navigation standard to be implemented starting with cars in 2018. Future Volkswagen models will use the camera-based map and localisation technology that Mobileye provides. The wide-ranging co-operation saw the Chief Technology Officer of Mobileye and Chairman of the Volkswagen brand, Herbert Diess, shaking hands.
The goal of the two companies is to jointly collect data and utilise it for a new generation of highly intelligent maps. This will allow real-time reporting of accidents, potholes, and much more that will be communicated the the on-board computer in other cars that use the technology, allowing them to autonomously choose a different route, or make minor adjustments, to avoid to problem.
“The future of autonomous driving depends on the ability to create and maintain precise high-definition maps and scale them at minimal cost.”
PROFESSOR AMNON SHASHUA – CO-FOUNDER OF MOBILEYE
Here’s how the system will be designed to work on Volkswagen’s vehicles: the car will be equipped with a forward-facing camera that can detect lane markings and road information thanks to Mobileye’s sensor systems. The information is compressed using a computer that’s built in to the vehicle, which is then sent to a server in the cloud. The data is then used to create highly localised mapping that creates high-definition maps that can help create advanced autonomous driving and future assistance systems.
When the technology is implemented in Volkswagen cars from 2018, this doesn’t necessarily mean that those models will have self-driving abilities. VW are eager to start collecting data from the roads as soon as possible so that they have a vast wealth of data to use when they decide to release an autonomous vehicle on to public roads.
This comes of the back of Volkswagen admitting that Tesla has enormous amounts of valuable data thanks to all the sensors they already have on their cars.
This is a vital step for the Volkswagen Group - without the data they'll collect from these sensors, it would be incredibly difficult to create advanced autonomous systems for future VW vehicles.