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Autonomous Vehicles

Published on April 16th, 2018 | by James Ayre


BMW i Ventures Buys Stake In Map Data Platform Mapillary

April 16th, 2018 by  

The venture investment arm of BMW, BMW i Ventures, has announced a new investment into the street-level imagery tech platform firm Mapillary.

Mapillary utilizes street-level imagery datasets to create maps — that is, the firm extracts map data from street-level imagery using so-called computer vision. The idea is to easily create maps of areas using whatever images are available (captured from any cameras).

The company’s operations now comprise over 22 billion map objects in 190 different countries, with the firm’s customers spanning the auto industry, mapping firms, and city administrations and services.

Mapillary CEO and co-founder Jan Erik Solem commented on the news: “With everything that’s happening around autonomous driving, we know the need for a collaborative, device-agnostic, and map-agnostic platform will be steadily growing. While the application of Mapillary for automotive use might be new, the underlying idea is the same since our first day: sharing data so that everyone wins. Our new investors will help us navigate this rapidly changing automotive market, and bring expertise in distributing map data that will help us realize Mapillary’s global potential.”

The new funding being provided by BMW i Ventures will reportedly be utilized to increase hiring, to further develop core technologies, and to buildout needed infrastructure.

The idea, as you can probably guess, is for the company to secure itself a good market share in the rapidly emerging self-driving vehicle tech sector. Such services have the need for high-quality maps, of course.

Related stories:

BMW i Ventures Invests In Desktop Metal (3D Printed Metal Parts)

BMW i Ventures Invests In Carpooling App Firm Scoop Technologies

BMW i Ventures Investing In Smartphone Driving Analytics Startup Zendrive



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About the Author

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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