BMW partners with Mobileye, Here for real-time mapping

Jim Lynch
The Detroit News

BMW will partner with the makers of high-tech collision-avoidance cameras and sensors to gather data from its automobiles in 2018. That data gathered via automotive “crowd-sourcing” will help clear the way for real-time mapping in self-driving cars.

Driverless cars will rely on the ability to process constantly updated information in a variety of areas: weather, traffic, accident reporting and parking. Starting next year, BMWs will be equipped with Mobileye’s Road Experience Management to gather information while cars are on the move and transfer it to the “cloud.”

That data will be used to develop Mobileye’s high-definition mapping system, Global RoadBook, which is constantly updated for drivers on the road. Volkswagen, General Motors and Nissan have similar commitments to gather information for the database.

The partnership involves not only BMW and Israeli tech company Mobileye, but Here mapping services and Intel in an effort aimed at bringing highly automated driving to the streets by 2021. By then, the carmaker expects to be in position to roll out its iNext autonomous vehicle.

“Global RoadBook is an initiative to utilize data from these cameras to create the high-definition maps required to make the next generation of autonomous driving a reality, in an inclusive way which will create an industry standard,” Amnon Shashua, chairman and chief technology officer of Mobileye, said in a statement Tuesday.

This announcement is the latest step for the three companies.

In January, the BMW, Intel and Mobileye partnership announced plans to deploy up to 40 autonomous BMW 7-Series cars in the second half of 2017 in the U.S. and Europe.

Mobileye announced last year its EyeQ5 System-on-Chip, an integrated circuit that will be the centerpiece sensor for autonomous vehicles. Intel recently introduced its GO platform of processors to “provide the computing horsepower to perform a range of automated driving functions.”

Mobileye and Intel are also partnering with Delphi. Last year, the trio announced development of an automated combination of cameras, sensors and computing. The system is expected to be available to carmakers by 2019.