Privacy-First Approach to Mapping

James Wu, CEO & Co-Founder of DeepMap joins Grayson Brulte on The Road To Autonomy Podcast to discuss mega-trends, high-precision maps, and DeepMap’s privacy-first approach to HD Maps.

In this episode, Grayson and James discuss HD mapping and how HD maps are enabling all SAE Levels of autonomy. The conversation starts with James discussing why he founded DeepMap with Mark Wheeler in 2016 and the opportunity they saw in the market to increase HD map efficiency.

The self-driving car problem is really hard. Hardest of all is driving without a map. It is an unsolved problem today.

James Wu, CEO & Co-Founder, DeepMap

Without a highly accurate map that updates in real-time, self-driving cars do not have a prior understanding of the environment. Self-driving cars use HD maps to increase efficiency and safety.

A 2019 Harvard Business School Case Study on DeepMap detailed the following:

Self-driving is not just a technology challenge. It’s also an economic challenge, an infrastructure challenge, a public safety challenge, and a marketing challenge.  

This challenge is shared amongst every organization working on self-driving technology. DeepMap is betting big on the trend towards a self-driving future. We firmly believe mapping is critical for increased safety and reliability, at an affordable cost.

James Wu, CEO & Co-Founder, DeepMap as featured in the Harvard Business School Case Study: DeepMap: Charting the Road Ahead For Autonomous Vehicles (2019)

It is not just Harvard Business School that is taking notice, Wall Street is also paying attention. Goldman Sachs invested in DeepMap as part of its Series B round in 2019. James speaks about what it is like to have Goldman Sachs as an investor.

[Goldman Sachs] is able to offer us a broader of the global market for autonomy. They also provide support for strategic partners.

James Wu, CEO & Co-Founder, DeepMap

The investment in DeepMap was not Goldman Sachs’ first investment in autonomy. In 2007, Goldman invested $100 million in Mobileye. Mobileye was later acquired by Intel for $15.3 billion in 2017.

DeepMap’s mapping service provides a solution for all levels of autonomy.

We must get L2 + right if we are going to reach Level 4 or 5.

James Wu, CEO & Co-Founder, DeepMap

HD Maps enhance the safety and reliability of Level 2 autonomy for drivers around the world. The conversation then naturally evolves into how to create an HD map and how the map updates in real-time.

Bringing the conversation back to the business of mapping, Grayson asks James why he made the decision to focus on privacy by allowing DeepMap’s customers to own the data generated by DeepMap’s HD mapping service.

Closing out the conversation, Grayson asks James what the future holds for DeepMap.

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