|Israeli startup Imagry takes contrarian mapless approach to autonomous driving|
TEL AVIV, Israel — To map or not to map? That is the question facing autonomous driving technology developers.
Most use sensor data to compile detailed high-definition maps that chart roadway dimensions and features such as merging lanes, overpasses, signals and crosswalks. Others take a lighter approach, building maps that provide less detail.
While these maps inform the driving system about the fixed aspects of the road and potential hazards, some companies, most notably Tesla, go without them.
Imagry, an Israeli startup in Haifa, is moving ahead without high-definition maps, arguing that its system better mimics human perception and is more efficient and less costly than other autonomous systems.
"It's impractical to try to map the entire world in a resolution of a few centimeters," Imagry CEO Eran Ofir told Automotive News.
Moreover, building and street construction, detours and other factors can make sections of maps inaccurate almost daily, he said.
Autonomous systems need the capability to operate independently, without the aid of external map data that could be outdated or subject to communications glitches that block access to cloud-based information, Ofir said.
— Jerry Hirsch