Ford invests in 3D map technology firm, Civil Maps

civil-maps-carMotus Ventures lead investments from Ford Motor Company, Wicklow Capital, StartX Stanford and AME Cloud Ventures to raise $6.6 million in funding for Civil Maps, provider of 3D mapping technology for fully autonomous vehicles.

Civil Maps is working to support self-driving through artificial intelligence and vehicle-based local processing. Civil Maps converts sensor data into meaningful map information built  to direct fully autonomous vehicles. The company will use the investment to accelerate product development and deployment with a number of leading automotive companies and technology partners.

Civil Maps’ artificial intelligence software aggregates raw 3D data from LiDAR (high-resolution laser imaging), camera and other sensors onboard autonomous vehicles and organizes the information into machine-readable maps.

Civil Maps claims their information is vastly more actionable information than today’s mapping systems and requires a fraction of the data storage and transmission for existing technologies.

Because of its light data footprint, Civil Maps’ spatial information is far less costly to transmit over cellular networks, enabling the company to  share road data in real time. The company claims it can quickly generate and maintain maps that give fully autonomous vehicles the comprehensive and precise knowledge to autonomous operate safely and smoothly on all roads.

Civil Maps’ scalable map generation process enables fully autonomous vehicles to drive like humans do – identifying on-road and off-road features even when they might be missing, deteriorated or hidden from view and letting a car know what it can expect along its route.