According to the report last night on 60 Minutes some 4 million miles of highways in the U.S. will need to be mapped in high detail before the autonomous vehicle industry will be able to support full operation. That sounds like a lot of mobile mapping to me.
Both Mercedes and Google were interviewed. When the Google engineer was asked about the timing he said he was hoping that by the time his child was ready for a driver’s license, in 4.5 years that they would not need one. I think that is very ambitious, but it sure would make things very interesting.
There was one mention of the use of lasers, but when discussing real time navigation they referred to the use of radar on the Mercedes car. It will be interesting to see what role lidar plays in the final system.