CARMERA Partners with Baidu Apollo to Support the Apollo Open Source HD Map Format for AV Developers Worldwide
- We’ve partnered with Baidu Apollo to support the continued development of the Apollo autonomous driving open platform and its global community.
- In 2018, we demonstrated high quality creation and vehicle integration of the Apollo HD Map for an initial test area in Silicon Valley, and have continued to support mapping for a variety of use cases in the Apollo format.
- In 2019 and beyond, we will seek to support HD Map for global developers and partners of the Baidu Apollo open source platform for R&D and production needs.
A Rapidly Maturing Open Platform
Baidu launched Apollo in 2017 as an open source platform that enables developers and partners to build their own AV systems. With over 130 enterprise partnerships, including some of the most recognizable brands in AV like Ford, NVIDIA and Velodyne, as well as the massive adoption by many researchers, students and hobbyists all over the world, the Apollo technology stack is maturing at a rapid pace. In January 2019, Baidu Apollo released version 3.5, now with over 390,000 lines of code and over 12,000 Github developers.
This rapid maturation has sparked a demand for Apollo HD Maps. In fact, HD Map has become one of the most frequently queried topics by developers everywhere. In turn, we have seen a significant increase in our customers asking for and deploying map data in the Apollo format in categories such as Automotive OEMs, Trucking, Last-Mile Delivery, R&D Test Tracks and University Groups. Our versatile, I/O-agnostic approach to providing HD maps as a service has allowed us to deploy Apollo maps in these use cases quickly, reliably and repeatedly for production-grade vehicle operation.
“High definition maps have become one of the most fundamental elements of any AV system, and remain a top priority for the Baidu Apollo developer community,” said Jingao Wang, Executive Director and General Manager of R&D of the Apollo Platform, Baidu. “We are excited to continue serving our growing community by partnering with CARMERA, a high quality service provider, for building and maintaining maps in Apollo HD Map format around the world.”
A Partnership a Year in the Making
Today’s announcement is a milestone news moment, but it is also the result of over a year of collaboration between our two companies.
In 2018 in Sunnyvale, California, we successfully achieved in-vehicle integration of CARMERA-produced HD maps with Baidu Apollo’s test AVs. Since then, we have supported mapping for a variety of use cases in the Apollo format. Going forward, we will expand support, aiming to serve Apollo’s growing set of research and commercial use cases around the world. We will strive to be a resource for Apollo developers and partners worldwide in supporting the development of Apollo HD Map for education and research uses, as well as large-scale production deployment.
We’ve had a front row seat in observing the impressive maturation and customer adoption of Apollo. Their team’s commitment to cultivating a robust, democratized platform marks significant progress towards our industry’s collective “moonshot” for safe, reliable and ubiquitous autonomous mobility.
This partnership, along with our recently announced collaboration with Toyota, is indicative of what we believe is the wider, deeper opportunity within the HD mapping space: Level 4-capable maps with robust change detection and management that rely primarily on cost-effective cameras. In that context, with the vast majority of the world untouched by HD maps, our partnership with Baidu Apollo brings us closer to our goal of defining the next generation of global-scale maps to ensure that autonomy works for all.