The race to build self-driving cars is on, and companies from major automakers to Google are rushing to cobble together sensors and teach cars how to drive on roads. Silicon Valley startup Civil Maps, in which Ford recently invested, is focused on a crucial layer: detailed three-dimensional maps that are constantly updated.
Accelerating tech: Civil Maps has built a kit, including a hardware unit with sensors and software for capturing and processing mapping data. It's now making that kit available to outside companies and teams working on self-driving cars as a starting point. These companies can then provide mapping data while they use the units for their own testing, while getting access to Civil Maps' constantly updating maps.