Nvidia has launched a new mapping platform that will provide the autonomous vehicle industry with ground truth mapping coverage of over 300,000 miles of roadway in North America, Europe and Asia by 2024, founder and CEO Jensen Huang said at the company’s GTC event on Tuesday.
The platform, dubbed Drive Map, is geared toward enabling high levels of autonomous driving. Drive Map isn’t only open to existing Nvidia customers, but it does augment the company’s existing solutions for the AV industry.
At the same event, the company announced its next generation of Drive Hyperion, Nvidia’s sensor and compute self-driving toolkit which is used by the likes of Mercedes, Volvo, JiDu and, as of Tuesday, BYD and Lucid Motors, to provide a variety of smart driving and advanced driving assistance features.
AV companies like TuSimple, WeRide, Zoox and DeepRoute.ai are also Hyperion customers.
Drive Map represents the fruits of Nvidia’s acquisition last year of DeepMap, a high-definition mapping startup. The tool provides centimeter-level accuracy by combining DeepMap’s accurate survey mapping with anonymous mapping data that’s been crowdsourced from all the vehicles that use Nvidia’s Hyperion architecture. The mapping tool features three localization layers — camera, lidar and radar — to provide the redundancy needed for autonomy.
All of the data pulled from Nvidia customers is being constantly uploaded to the cloud as vehicles drive. It’s then aggregated and loaded onto Nvidia’s Omniverse, the company’s open platform built for virtual collaboration and real-time physically accurate simulation, and used to update the map so vehicles can achieve proper localization. In the process, Nvidia is able to more quickly scale its mapping footprint.
In addition, Omniverse uses automated content generation tools to build a detailed map, which is then converted into a drivable simulation environment that can be used with Nvidia Drive Sim, an end-to-end simulation platform for autonomous vehicles.