June 4, 2024
Peter Atalla

Why Are High-Definition Maps So Important For Autonomous Vehicles?

Autonomous Vehicles

Voxelmaps has a unique technology, where we’re creating a digital twin of the entire planet out of voxels - think of it as like a Minecraft version of the planet!

One of the subsets of data that we produce from our Voxelmaps model is high-definition maps for autonomous vehicles.

Here’s why high definition (HD) maps are so important when it comes to autonomous vehicles.


We need these maps to be highly accurate in order to localize autonomous vehicles (AV’s) down to cm level position on the planet. These maps allow AV’s to know exactly where they are and what direction they’re facing.


Autonomous vehicles have numerous sensors, cameras, radars and LiDARs which give them visibility of the environment, but there’s always a limit to that range. Their sensors might only give them 200m in terms of visibility. A high-definition map allows them to see miles ahead as opposed to meters.

In terms of safety and understanding, the HD map provides a greater insight of the roads and the road conditions.


One key component that’s been missing is the concept of having real-time HD maps. Building a high-definition map of an area is a significant effort, but we all know that roads and road conditions change over time.

As a result of Voxelmaps, Verizon and AWS co-innovation it is now possible to capture the road and road condition changes and deliver them in near real-time to the autonomous vehicles.

The whole process from data collection to data processing to updating the autonomous vehicle with the HD map which previously took 1 and half months now takes a mind-blowing average of 15 seconds. All the same levels of processing remain the same, but it’s being done in seconds. Together, we’re completely changing the game.

See Voxelmaps, AWS and Verizon at MWC 2021 - Real-time HD Maps for Autonomous Vehicles - https://youtu.be/YEYo_2spGHM

Find Out More

If you’d like to learn more about this truly fascinating technology email us at info@voxelmaps.com or contact us.

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