California-based startup Civil Maps said in a statement that Ford Motor Company, along with four other groups, contributed to a $6.6 million seed fund for the company. It’s unknown how much of that total sum came from Ford.
Why It Matters
Civil Maps could help bring automakers like Ford one step closer toward being able to implement self-driving technology in cars, according to Autoblog. The company is focused on creating detailed, three-dimensional maps by using artificial-intelligence software – maps that can then theoretically help guide an autonomous vehicle through a given environment. As Ford’s self-driving tests in heavy snowfall and pitch-dark helped illustrate, having a detailed map on which to rely is imperative for any autonomous vehicle.
What’s more, Civil Maps says that its software maintains a relatively small data footprint, meaning that information can be more practically, economically transmitted over wireless networks. Map data can be updated and shared in real-time.
Ford spokesperson Alan Hall told Autoblog in an email: “Investing in and working with Civil Maps gives us an additional way to develop 3D high-resolution maps, which will bring fully autonomous Ford vehicles a step closer to reality for consumers.”