2016 Predictions: No.11 – Autonomous Cars and Mapping

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This post is part of a series of 2016 predictions from industry experts.

Autonomous Cars and Mapping

Raj Nijjer, Yext, @rajnijjer

Peek into the future with me! Your family quaintly seated in an autonomous car seeking children activities while on vacation in La Jolla, California. Your autonomous car suggests a few locations and auto-routes to location #7 below, YIKES!!

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Today, we live in a world of semi-autonomous driving features like adaptive cruise control and lane departure warning. According to Sergey Brin of Google, driverless cars are coming to our roads as early as 2017. Tesla’s recent release of AutoPilot autonomously speeds up and slows down its cars, inclusive of changing lanes. This works in the neighborhoods of Mountain View and Palo Alto where Google has mapped Street View on steroids. The U.S. is much bigger! To put the problem in perspective, Google has mapped 2,000 miles out of the 4 million miles of drivable roadways in the United States. To deliver an autonomous vehicle to Location #7 (as seen above) we must demand accurate location mapping that doesn’t result in autonomous cars driving off cliffs.

In order to deliver passengers safely from Point A to Point B, location mapping services like Google, OpenStreetMap and Here need to form an alliance to share navigational data. The power of a combined dataset and resulting location datapoints will deliver a higher order of accuracy guaranteeing safe transportation while on vacation in the future.

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