Mapillary completed the B round financing of USD10 million. BMW was the leading investor and NavInfo also contributed to the investment

Posted on Thursday 26 April 2018, by Harald Hagenaars

Recently, a new cooperative partner was added on the global map of NavInfo - Mapillary, a newly established Swedish company.

Mapillary completed the B round financing of USD15 million. BMW i Ventures was the leading investor and Samsung and NavInfo also contributed to the investment. With the help of this financing, Mapillary will further develop the technical capacity of its platform. In the meanwhile, NavInfo will also improve its competitiveness in the high-accuracy map field.

Mapillary is a platform that utilizes the computer-assisted visual technology to extract the map data from the images of street view. The platform provides developing tool and basic capacities for users. With the platform, the community users can upload the photos of street view they take to the platform as the data source, use the computer-assisted visual technology to reconstruct the 3D position and identify the objects in the image and automatically generate the data required by the map.

Mapillary owns the largest street view image data platform all over the globe. All global users have uploaded a total number of over 260 million photos of street view and most of the photos were spontaneously uploaded by the individual users from communities and city-level users. Mapillary has extracted 22 billion map data from the photos covering more than 190 countries and districts. Its customers include some industry giants, such as Volkswagen and HERE.

On one hand, it constructs an active community through an open platform and solves the problems in data acquisition in the form of crowdsourcing; on the other hand, it uses the computer-assisted visual technology to automatically process the image and solves the problems in the map data generation. For NavInfo, the data source and image processing technology of Mapillary can significantly improve the crowdsourcing update technology of the high-accuracy map.

NavInfo started its R & D of HAD map from 2013. Currently, its high-accuracy map data has covered over 80% highway scenarios and urban road scenarios of the key cities. Through cooperation and joint test with the international leading automobile plant, HAD map products are continuously improved in the APP scenarios and data specifications. In recent years, NavInfo focused on the real-time update technology of the HAD map through independent R & D and cooperation with the industrial partners, such as Mobileye in two directions, professional outsourcing and crowdsourcing to jointly promote the industrial development. The introduction of Mapillary data source and platform technology will add a new data resource and technical means for the technical link of the update of HAD map.

"Person, enterprise and autonomous driving car need to understand the world we are living in better and faster and we believe the data sharing is the key to achieve the target", Cheng Peng, CEO of NavInfo said, "The technology and platform capacity of Mapillary provides a brand new crowdsourcing form for the objective of keeping the accuracy and freshness of the high-accuracy map, which is critical for us to jointly build up a safe and comfortable autonomous driving environment together with the industry".

Uwe Higgen, a managing partner of BMW i Ventures expressed, "We consider that the independent street view image and map data suppliers like Mapillary plays an important role and has a great significance. They may play the important role of sharing platform in the future integration and development of various industries. The data sharing is of great significance for the accuracy of high-accuracy map and safety of autonomous driving. The technology of Mapillary enables anyone to participate in the map update."

Jan Erik Solem, co-founder and CEO of Mapillary said, "The world has just started to recognize the autonomous driving technology. With an increasing number of autonomous driving cars travelling on the road, we firmly believe that the industry will have a growing demand for the cross-system cooperation platform and map. We started to build up such a platform from 2013. At present, the experience and opinions of new investors in the automobile industry and map field will surely help Mapillary motivate greater potential in the future international market."

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