It looks like the big 3 German car companies are in the process of acquiring Nokia’s Here mapping service and as you can see in the adjacent photo that includes the use of lidar – derived imagery.
As reported in Popular Science, “A robust map data set is crucial to operating an autonomous car–if the car doesn’t know where to go, it can’t go anywhere. Nokia identified this early on, and has already used its LIDAR-equipped cars to create high-definition maps of certain roads and highways, accurate down to 20 centimeters, according to the company.”
Most people don’t realize that it takes this level of detail to support autonomous vehicles.
With this software and data, these automakers will be able to better compete in a market soon to be flooded with autonomous taxis by Uber and Google, and be able to offer comparable or premium autonomous driving products. Time will tell on that idea.