Artificial Intelligence

High-definition maps for autonomous vehicles

15th January 2019
Alex Lynn

A strategic collaboration to advance the development of high-definition (HD) maps in autonomous vehicles has been announced between Analog Devices, (ADI) and Momenta. HD maps are a critical element of autonomous driving and must deliver accurate, real-time information to help safely guide the vehicle to its destination. 

As part of the collaboration, Analog Devices’ inertial measurement units (IMUs) will be used to improve the mapping system setup and technology upgrades in Momenta’s L3 freeway ramp-to-ramp solution and L4 full autonomy driving solutions.

Under poor weather conditions, or when a GPS signal is lost, an IMU becomes essential in delivering high-precision mapping output. ADI’s IMUs will be used to enhance Momenta’s mapping solutions to more effectively meet the demanding accuracy requirements of HD maps. ADI’s IMUs exceed the value/performance ratio of higher cost alternative sensors based on fibre optic gyro or laser gyro technologies.

“Analog Devices is committed to the development of differentiated technologies to address high performance, high reliability and safety needs that are critical for autonomous driving,” said Chris Jacobs, Vice President, Autonomous Transportation and Safety at Analog Devices. “ADI’s sensor solutions provide autonomous driving systems with reliable, high-fidelity navigational and perception information. By combining ADI’s leading IMU performance with Momenta’s extensive experience in deep learning algorithms, the collaboration between both companies is expected to deliver safe, reliable and implementable solutions for autonomous driving.”

In creating HD maps, crowdsourcing has become a mainstream development tool due to its low cost and timely updating features. This is particularly important, for example, in Asia where infrastructure updates are frequent. Momenta’s vision-based semantic HD maps are crowdsourced, highly accurate and frequently updated. They have the capability to provide map update and localisation services. Momenta is also able to leverage modules mounted on taxis, trucks and buses at a large scale to create a crowdsourcing map for building the ‘brains’ of autonomous vehicles.

Momenta CEO Xudong Cao, added: “HD maps are crucially important to launching safe and reliable autonomous driving solutions. ADI has extensive experience in developing IMUs, and the company’s high-performance, high-precision sensor technologies can help Momenta build accurate, reliable and easy-to-update HD Maps. Momenta is excited to work together with Analog Devices to advance HD maps for autonomous vehicles.”

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