Hyundai's navigation and mapping subsidiary Hyundai MNSoft announced on Monday that it is partnering with a company called Netradyne to improve its high-definition mapping program for use with future autonomous cars. This partnership is a big deal in an increasingly competitive market, and it could be a big leap forward for both companies.
Netradyne is probably best known for its Driveri technology which has seen some success in the fleet management and commercial driving spaces. It starts with a specialized dashcam that, when paired with Netradyne's artificial intelligence, can rate driver safety and alert drivers to unsafe situations.
"Netradyne's vision-based road feature analytics will allow us to maintain the most technologically advanced HD maps," said Byoungkeun Woo, VP of Hyundai MNSoft, in a statement. "With this agreement, we will make additional efforts to develop our HD maps for the safety of all autonomous vehicles."
See, what Netradyne is doing is taking the data and images being generated by Driveri and turning them into maps with its software's deep learning capabilities. This crowdsourced method of map generation has proven to be significantly cheaper to implement than the that other companies are using.
"HD Mapping is a new capability that is being rolled out with our partner, but ultimately every Driveri safety device will be capable of mapping as well. With over 15M miles/month already being generated in the US in terms of road coverage, and there only being about 2M miles of paved road in the US, we already have good scale," said Sandeep Pandya, president of Netradyne, in a statement to Roadshow. "That said, it will only get better as we project 100M miles/month by late 2019 and 1B miles/month the year after. With Hyundai MNSoft, we have global mapping aspirations so we believe we will scale quickly."
As to how many Driveri devices Netradyne and Hyundai MNSoft currently out into the wild, the company is only willing to say the number is in the thousands. It remains to be seen just how quickly those devices' data can be turned into high-definition maps, but the Netradyne folks claim that they are collection 15 million road miles of data per month currently, so we're betting it's sooner rather than later.