Hyundai to use HD maps to field self-driving cars at 2018 Winter Olympics

Hyundai is working with the South Korean government to use the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics as a demonstration event for the automakers self-driving tech. The conditions will be challenging, however, since the roads will be winding and with significant grades, and the hope at least is that there will be plenty of snow – a notorious enemy of sensors used in self-driving tech. Hyundai will use HD maps to overcome these challenges, according to Korea’s etnews.

The maps used for the self-driving deployment will have resolution with less than 10 cm margin of error, which is the “world’s best” according to the company when it comes to these kinds of HD maps. It’ll help supplement the on-vehicle sensors, and the mapping itself is being done by Hyundai’s MNsoft subsicdiatiry, which is using LiDAR and radar to build a high-resolution point cloud of the area, which is supplemented by images captured by 4 cameras at a rate of 200 pictures per second.

Hyundai demonstrated its HD mapping tech this year at CES, using Ioniq hybrid cars that were meant to show how the automaker could bring autonomous tech to market with a vehicle that has fewer specialized sensors and could therefore be made affordably for everyday consumers.

The Olympics are shaping up to be a key demonstration event for forthcoming autonomous vehicle tech: Hyundai plans to show of its SAE Level 4 capabilities next year in Pyeongchang, and Toyota is also set to show off its own autonomous cars during the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.

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