San Francisco-based startup Mapper, a high-definition 3D map maker for self-driving vehicles, is now crowdsourcing its mapping activities to the general public.
Using 10,000 part-time workers, the idea is for average Joe’s with their vehicles to affix Mapper’s proprietary device called the S1 with cameras and sensors atop their car dashboards. A detailed piece from Wired shared more.
With Mapper instructing them to run predetermined routes at certain speeds, hyper-detailed maps are created and continually updated with the smallest details, including objects, lane markers, and traffic signals.
Average cruising speeds are 10 to 30 miles an hour to capture all needed data correctly.
Expected work time is up to four hours a shift in active or passive modes, with money earned depending on the effort.
Currently, Mapper is conducting tests in San Francisco, expecting to complete a base map of the city by the end of November. Over the next year, the company plans to expand to other cities nationally, followed by overseas and rural areas.
Mapper’s unique selling proposition is creating maps without the use of LiDar, radar technology currently used by GM and Uber that have met challenges concerning cost and safety in inclement weather. The brand would then license its product to automakers, transportation services, insurance companies, utility powerhouses, and technology companies.