Silicon Valley-based start-up Civil Maps has developed a unique, scalable high definition, 3D mapping and localization solution suitable for routing autonomous vehicles. In 2019, the company set up its European headquarters in Luxembourg in order to address the European market for self-driving cars and logistics.

The research project launched with the SnT will expand the capabilities of Civil Maps’ high definition (HD) Maps Service. HD maps are designed to provide highly specific and accurate information about all the details of a route, including route deviations and obstacles. They are crucial for an autonomous vehicle to function since they provide information that road signs and markings traditionally give to drivers as they navigate to their destination. HD maps are exponentially more detailed than standard definition (SD) maps, which is what traditional navigation services such as car GPS systems and mobile apps use. Civil Maps’ HD maps are extremely precise, including information about surrounding objects, for safe and reliable navigation.

The research collaboration will use SnT’s expertise in machine learning and visual recognition to further develop and automate the map creation processes, one of the key components to accelerate the proliferation of self-driving cars and delivery robots worldwide. This partnership is the latest in a series of projects that SnT and Luxembourg have initiated to support autonomous vehicle innovation. “In order to make self-driving cars a reality, a lot of technology development is still required, making this a vibrant research field,” said Dr Raphaël Frank, Principal Investigator and Head of the 360Lab. “By partnering with Civil Maps we will be able to collaborate closely with a promising start-up in the sector that will ensure we push innovation in the field that much further.”