2 min

Nvidia has signed off on a deal to acquire a well-funded startup dealing in mapping technology for autonomous vehicles. The startup, DeepMap, has technology that can help vehicles navigate roads more reliably.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed when the announcement was made on Thursday but it is safe to say that Nvidia is paying a considerable sum to acquire the company. The San-Francisco-based startup raised more than $90 million in funding since it was launched six years ago, from backers like Andreessen Horowitz.                        

What Nvidia is buying

The startup makes software used by automakers to create high-fidelity maps of roads. The maps are essential for autonomous vehicles, which use them when planning routes, to avoid obstacles and get you where you need to go reliably.

DeepMap has announced two offerings since October, which Nvidia will absorb as part of the acquisition deal. The first one is DeepMap HDR which can help automakers generate maps and update them continuously over time, to give autonomous vehicles an accurate mapping of the environment. The more recent offering is called RoadMemory, enabling vehicles to build maps as they move, using onboard sensors.

Nvidia’s push into autonomous tech

The startup’s technology will be a great addition to Nvidia’s expanding product portfolio, especially in the auto sector. The company had built end-to-end solutions for autonomous vehicles that include chips and software tools to build, train, and test AI driving models and systems.

At the heart of Nvidia’s autonomous vehicle offerings is Drive AGX, a series of system-on-chip processors. They can be deployed inside autonomous vehicles to power onboard AI software, which makes navigation decisions. Orin is the name of the latest chip, performing seven times better than its predecessor. DeepMap will play a big role in Nvidia’s push for an even stronger presence in the autonomous vehicle technology market.