Intel’s Mobileye partners Ordnance Survey for mapping data

Written by Hannah McGrath

Intel’s self-driving data firm Mobileye is partnering with Ordnance Survey, the UK’s mapping agency, to build an accurate picture of the UK’s under and overground infrastructure.

The deal, announced at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, will draw upon Mobileye’s camera-based and self-driving mapping data combined with Ordnance Survey’s geospatial expertise to offer smart mapping of UK road networks to markets including the energy and infrastructure sector.

The deal underlines the value of location data collected by self-driving vehicle technology to projects beyond the autonomous vehicle industry.

Mobileye, an Israeli based startup was acquired by computing giant Intel in 2017 for $15.3 billion after the two companies partnered on self-driving vehicle technology. It was founded in 1999 by Amnon Shashua, who developed algorithms to power Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) aimed at reducing collision fatalities. It collision avoidance technologies are integrated into models by Tesla, BMW, General Motors, Ford, Audi and Volvo.

A statement on the Ordance Survey website said that the deal would “deliver high precision road network data to enable a fully connected digital Britain.”

“The new data will also support the successful rollout of technologies for new market segments, including 5G, intelligent mobility and connected autonomous vehicles,” it added.

Neil Ackroyd, chief executive of Ordnance Survey said the project would benefit a range of new discovery projects across the UK including 5G networks, Internet of Things (IoT) and CAV (connected and autonomous vehicle technology).

“One key, and common, learning is that detailed and accurate geospatial data is a must for the success of these projects. We envisage this new rich data to be key to how vehicles, infrastructure, people and more will communicate in the digital age,” he added.

Using the Mobileye technology, vehicles will gather large volumes of location data on road networks and roadside infrastructure.

The collected data – which includes lamp posts, manhole covers, and road markings – is then cross-referenced with existing geospatial datasets, such as Ordnance Survey MasterMap, to help develop highly accurate maps of Britain’s roads and surrounding infrastructure.

The partnership follows pilot projects in 2018 which saw Ordnance Survey working with data collected by Mobileye for integration into the geospatial database for Great Britain.

In addition, a number of Ordnance Survey vehicles have been fitted with Mobileye 8 Connect technology to collect data on the roads of Britain.
Commenting on the partnership, Prof. Amnon Shashua, president and chief executive of Mobileye, said that using maps to improve operations between businesses and cities would bring technologists closer to the development of smart cities and safer roads.