Even though the focus is on driverless cars, the majority of the book I am reading traces the history of artificial intelligence and how we are now finally in a position to capitalize on machine learning. I think this is one of the most important technical books you can read because AI is going to change the world we live in.
From the laser scanning and high definition mapping perspective the key concept is the idea of artificial perception. We are now at the point where it is possible for computers to use neural networks to automatically identify and classify objects in a scene. The software has to be trained to recognize objects which is where the idea of deep learning comes in, but there is now plenty of digital imagery (Big Data) out there to satisfy this requirement. Soon the driverless car will become the data collector as it updates the database in real time.
There are still major hurdles for fully autonomous vehicles to become the norm, but AI is here and it is going to change the world we live in. If you would like to understand how that is going to work then Driverless is a must read.