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DeepMap Announces $25M Series A Round, Delivers A Better HD Mapping And Localization Platform

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DeepMap is a company found by former Google and Apple employees focused on making better mapping hardware and software for self-driving cars. DeepMap specializes in transforming fleetwide data into high performance maps. To find our more about their platform we sat down with Wei Luo, COO & Head of Product at DeepMap:


Q: You’ve recently announced $25M in Series A Round; could you tell us something more?

A: While we’ve just announced our Series A, we’ve actually been operating in stealth for about a year, building our team and developing our product. With this round, we’re looking forward to furthering our momentum and building key partnerships in the self-driving space.

Q: What is the story behind DeepMap, how did you start?

A: Our founders believe that, without adequate mapping technology, self-driving cars will never truly take off. For safe autonomy, cars need to know at all times exactly where they are, what the route ahead will look like, and what observable changes are in the environment compared to the existing map of the area. DeepMap was founded to address this challenge by creating 3D, high definition maps that offer precise localization and are constantly shared and updated fleetwide through the cloud.

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Q: How exactly is your technology going to help self-driving cars?

A: We believe there are three key ingredients needed for successful mapping for self-driving cars. These are: high precision localization (down to the centimeter level) and regular updates; full integration with the car’s planning, perception, and piloting systems; and efficient management of data on cars and in the cloud. At DeepMap, we’re creating a full-stack solution that addresses all of these points. At a basic level, cars equipped with our technology will be able to compare their own sensor data about the environment with up-to-date and high definition maps of the area, allowing them to pinpoint their location, process changes in road conditions, and anticipate the upcoming road environment. Each car in the fleet serves as the eyes and ears of the other cars by sharing updates to the cloud and, thereby, to each other.

Q: What makes you stand out from your competition in the market?

A: Our team is uniquely experienced and equipped to handle the mapping challenge for self-driving cars. We have built, scaled, and maintained platforms like Google Earth, Google Maps, and Apple Maps, which are some of the most frequently used mapping products and largest geo databases in the world. Another differentiator is that we don’t think of maps as mere databases, especially when they’re being used to make safety-critical decisions for vehicles. Instead, we’ve designed a service that addresses the three points listed above in a holistic manner in order to achieve the best quality, efficiency, and safety.

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Q: What is your plan for the future?

A: We’re excited to work with OEMs to integrate our technology into their products. We are hardware-agnostic at DeepMap, meaning we can work with any sensor maker or automaker. It’s our hope that, through these integrations, we can help make self-driving cars a safe reality at a large scale.

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