NVIDIA offers an end-to-end mapping system for self-driving cars, designed to help automakers, map companies and startups rapidly create HD maps and keep them updated. This process, which used to take weeks, can now happen in near real-time. For automotive developers, the same architecture used to create maps and keep them up-to-date can also enable self-driving cars.

NVIDIA MapWorks leverages NVIDIA DRIVE™ PX AI supercomputer, coupled with NVIDIA Tesla® GPUs in the data center, to accelerate the creation and updating of highly detailed maps for autonomous vehicles. Traditional mapping techniques have required numerous expensive sensors in the car to collect massive volumes of data that were recorded and then processed offline. Conversely, this HD mapping system is highly-efficient, moving processing data into the vehicle, and minimizing communication with the cloud. The process that used to take weeks can now happen in near real-time.

MapWorks is built in compliance with the architecture of the NVIDIA DriveWorks for autonomous driving. Both, MapWorks and DriveWorks are designed for carmakers, map companies and startups to accelerate development. When just using cameras, the full system incorporates deep learning algorithms to detect lanes, signs and other landmarks, and can be used to both create maps and determine when the environment has changed.

For localization, structure-from-motion algorithms enable data from multiple cameras to be converted into detailed 3D mapping information. Combining data from various inertial sensors in the car, along with GPS data and cameras, enables precise positioning of key landmarks. LIDAR information can be utilized to create even richer maps with greater detail. A combination of artificial intelligence and VSLAM (Visual Simultaneous Localization and Mapping) handle all stages of map creation.

The end-to-end system is highly customizable, incorporating both an in-vehicle AI supercomputer, and a cloud component based on Tesla GPUs. For automotive developers, this same architecture used to create maps and keep them up-to-date ultimately enables self-driving cars to operate safer.

Self-Driving Car Automotive Life Cycle


NVIDIA automotive solutions are available to automakers, tier 1 suppliers, startups, and research institutions working on the future of transportation.