DeepMap: Self-Driving Technology Using Alibaba Cloud’s Infrastructure

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On July 23, it was reported that DeepMap, a leading international self-driving technology company, is migrating all the compute-intensive procedures for making its high-precision map to Alibaba Cloud.

No high-precision map means no self-driving. DeepMap has extremely high requirements on the map quality. DeepMap requires its map to provide enough key features and support customized adaptions for different application scenarios. For example, height information is especially important to trucks, while normal motor vehicles are more concerned about whether the lanes are for motor vehicles or not. These scenarios put higher requirements on models and computing power.

Liu Shuquan, head of DeepMap in China, said that the large amounts of data and computations from model training and data cleansing to the verification phase before the map is generated, will be migrated to Alibaba Cloud.

The entire computing process will involve dozens of Alibaba Cloud products and services, including ECS, GPU, OSS, ENS, VPC, EMR storage clusters, k8s API clusters, and HBase storage clusters.

The entire computing process is basically like this: The high-precision map terminal mounted on a vehicle automatically captures incremental data and quickly uploads the data to the cloud through the edge nodes; the large-scale EMR cluster processes the data and generates a basic map; machine learning helps generate the final map.

Relying on Alibaba Cloud, DeepMap has already been able to update its high-precision map daily. The future goal is to implement real-time map updates.

According to Liu Shuquan, Alibaba Cloud provides a rich set of basic resources such as computing and network resources. The large number of edge nodes provided by Alibaba Cloud can fundamentally improve the data processing efficiency. At the same time, Alibaba Cloud provides a complete set of product services, including its unique key management, to improve the security and stability of the applications on the cloud.

From storage, computations, to communications, cloud services comprehensively offset the shortcomings in the core business of DeepMap and help DeepMap improve its technologies and efficiency. With this infrastructure support, DeepMap will be able to work with big OEM partners to implement the deep integration of the high-precision map and vehicle-mounted self-driving platforms and build the overall service.

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