BMW’s corporate venture capital arm, BMW i Ventures, has announced a strategic investment in a street-level imagery platform for extracting map data at scale. Mapillary, a Swedish company, was founded in 2013 and has spent the last 5 years amassing a huge data set that aims to help autonomous car builders better understand the streets they are building their cars for. Uwe Higgen, Managing Partner at BMW i Ventures describes “ a growing need for an independent provider of street-level imagery and map data, which also acts as a sharing platform among different players. Data sharing is crucial to maintaining accurate maps and to the development of safe autonomous vehicles. Mapillary has made great progress and built technology that will let everyone update maps in a scalable way.”
BMW, along with many other automakers, have been making many strategic investments in similar startups in hopes that they will be able to integrate these technologies into their autonomous vehicle projects.