Last weekend, Baidu and Amap quarreled with each other just because of Yu Yongfu’s words. As the ordinary netizen who doesn’t know much about the truth, I don"t really care who wins the fight. I just care about the public relations of the two companies since they have to work on weekend.
However, this weekend is destined to be dramatic. On Friday, one day before the fight between Baidu and Amap, another map provider NavInfo participated in an automatic driving technology seminar called “Open Auto Drive Forum”, which aimed to gather the circle of people together to discuss a standard of future automatic driving technology. NavInfo also talked about high precision map, which happened to have the same view with Amap in the past two days. This was an international conference with academic atmosphere, and more than half of the attendants were foreign experts, and staffs from Baidu and Amap.
In automatic driving, map supplier"s entry point is high-resolution map. In addition to NavInfo, Baidu, Amap and Tencent are also busy with high-resolution map. NavInfo is one of the earliest companies entering into this area, and now NavInfo has set up “automatic driving laboratory” and “deep learning laboratory”.
NavInfo CTO Dai Donghai said that in 2012 a foreign manufacturer came to find NavInfo and then the two sides had some cooperation in the fields of high-precision data and automatic driving. In the next few years, there would be a lot of production plans. In June this year, NavInfo has launched data and products to support Level Two national highway network coverage with mass production capacity. In the future, NavInfo also gives some specific time nodes:In the middle of 2017, to introduce products to support Level Three national highway network coverage, and to achieve mass production.At the beginning of 2019, provide Level Four map data of main cities.
How does NavInfo do high-resolution map?
Taking Google and Mobileye as examples, at present, the high-resolution map can be divided into several schools. Google uses a laser radar to collect a large amount of high-precision map data with every kilometer of GB level. It is difficult for ordinary car factory to produce such a large amount of data. Road Experience Management concept of Mobileye can collect high-precision map data by users through crowdsourcing, but these data can only be used for Mobileye sensor.
The High-resolution map for NavInfo has nothing to do with sensor so that the car factories can have great flexibility. No matter what kind of automatic driving solution the car factory uses, NavInfo’s high-resolution map can continue to use. As for the data size of high-resolution map, Dai Donghai said that there might be 1:1 to traditional data according to his experience.
On the other hand, the data of high-resolution map must be updated in real time. NavInfo divided the map into several layers, including basic navigation layer, high-resolution road network layer and, real-time dynamic layer and other environmental factors. For data needed to be updated in real time, it would continue to be updated through the cloud.
Except for the efforts in“software”, NavInfo took over Jemfa Technology Co.,Ltd. (Subsidiary of MTK) in May this year. Dai Donghai said that this was a in-depth cooperation on strategic level. Obviously, we aimed to realize the competition in the whole industry chain through the making of smart chip and the package of our software and hardware.
By horizontal contrast, NavInfo is more like a traditional car supplier, working closely with car factory to meet the demands of car plant. But its business partner Amap seems to go a more "Internet" road---they announced their highly precised map for free just two days ago. As a B side oriented product, Amap is making advertisement with the tricks commonly used by C side oriented product. In Amap’s presupposition, as an exchange, the car plant should open some certain road data to Amap, which can in turn improve its highly précised map. However, according to the saying that the free thing is the most expensive thing, is the car factory willing to open its data? It still needs time to give the exact answer.
As for the competition from those internet companies, when I asked Dai Donghai what are the advantages of NavInfo, his answer was quite simple:“we started the business relatively early, the accumulation of our company is more comprehensive, and we have more mature products. After the full circle evaluation, most vehicle factories will prefer to choose NavInfo."