BMW and Mobileye to crowdsource real-time data for self-driving from 2018

BMW and Mobileye are working together, with the automaker employing Mobileye’s Road Experience Management (REM) software in its vehicles from 2018 onward. The tech, which Mobileye also recently announced would be coming to future Volkswagen cars, helps crowdsource real-time road data captures by the advanced driver assist hardware on vehicles, which will eventually help provide a key ingredient for fully autonomous driving.

The REM system developed by Mobileye can provide information like road hazards, traffic delays, weather information and even parking availability from individual vehicles, which it will pool in the cloud, and then make available to enter fleets, giving them a way to supplement pre-existing static HD maps with to-the-minute info from real-world driving. That kind of data will likely be crucial to autonomous vehicle systems, especially early on, as it’s very challenging to build learning systems that can deal with all aspects of shifting road conditions on the fly.

Mobileye’s goal is to source data from a range of different vehicle manufacturers, in order to more quickly and accurately build anonymized real-time mapping data that can serve to inform autonomous driving systems more generally, which should in theory lead to safer roads. The partnership with BMW will collect data that it then passes on to HERE, which will use the real-time info to provide instant updates to its HD Live Map, a cloud mapping service the company is making available for semi-autonomous and fully autonomous vehicles.

Basically, the more automakers Mobileye has on REM, the more useful and appealing to other automakers it becomes. Ultimately shared components between the disparate self-driving systems of various car manufacturers should help serve the overall efficacy and safety of the whole, since a system that can learn from larger and more comprehensive data sets is almost certainly bound to be better than one that has only a single piece of the puzzle.

BMW is already working with HERE, as long with Intel and Mobileye on delivering highly automated vehicles to the road for a target 2021 timeframe, so this should help pave the way for that, with ample data connected in advance from the next few years’ worth of shipping vehicles.