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Ford Invests In 3D-Mapmaker Civil Maps For Self-Driving Cars

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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┬ácame 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.”

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Aaron Brzozowski is a writer and motoring enthusiast from Detroit with an affinity for '80s German steel. He is not active on the Twitter these days, but you may send him a courier pigeon.

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