Image: Renovo

Civil Maps, creator of an edge-computing HD mapping and localization platform, is to collaborate with Renovo, currently testing a fleet of autonomous vehicles in San Jose, California. The two companies will integrate Renovo’s AWare self-driving operating system with Civil Maps’ platform, said to be a lightweight and highly scalable solution for HD mapping, usage and continental-scale crowdsourcing.

The two companies further plan to work together to standardize the ‘abstraction layers’ between the mapping and localization systems and the OEM sensor configurations, decision engines, HMIs and control systems. This will result in a universal interface giving compatibility between Civil Maps’ vehicular cognition stack and all other modules in the AWare ecosystem, promising plug-and-play readiness plus time and cost savings for developers.

Civil Maps’ co-founder and CEO, Sravan Puttagunta, said in a statement: “Interoperability is the right direction for the industry and we are excited to take this step forward with Renovo. By eliminating the painful exercise of each company doing the custom, one-off work of continually translating their software and hardware for other systems, we are removing a tremendous hurdle to production-scale AV deployment.”

Renovo’s CEO and co-founder Chris Heiser added in a separate statement: “Civil Maps is aligned with our deep commitment to enable the building of heterogeneous, automated mobility fleet deployments using the AWare OS. We’re excited to bring their uniquely scalable HD mapping and localization technologies to our customers and collaborate on furthering the development of API, data format and other interoperability enablers.”

Interoperability, integration, and a universal interface

Paul Drysch, Civil Maps’ VP of sales and business development, explained further in a blog on the company’s website: “Today’s autonomous vehicle and automated mobility market looks a lot like the early days of the personal computer industry: many players, each building its own proprietary machine… Much like a personal computer’s operating system allowed the PC to work with hardware from a variety of suppliers and software from a wide range of developers, Renovo’s abstraction layers give automated driving system hardware and software developers a universal interface that lets each manufacturer design a single component that can work in many HAVs (highly automated vehicles), as opposed to a custom part for each make and model of vehicle…

“Partnering with Renovo accelerates the critical effort to standardize protocols between automated driving system providers and HAV makers. Orchestrating this level of interoperability will bring HAVs closer to mass production and scale deployment by giving vehicle makers and fleet operators greater diversity and flexibility in their supply chains.”

Drysch further describes the partnership: “Recognizing the global need for more interoperable, modular, scalable and open vehicle software, Renovo is building the technology platform that merges a partner ecosystem of leading software, data analytics, and automotive-grade safety systems into a unified and brand-neutral operating system… the company is tapping into something that our industry really needs: management of data between the various modules.

“With our joint effort, AWare-powered fleet deployments will be able to effortlessly integrate Civil Maps’ voxel-based fingerprint localization in six degrees of freedom (6DoF) using our proprietary sensor fusion. Together, we can also expand our customers’ operational areas via our lightweight Fingerprint Base Map, allowing for near real-time updates over existing cellular networks (3G & 4G).”

Civil Maps, which started out in the railroad industry, has just opened a new office in Palo Alto, California, in addition to its headquarters in downtown San Francisco and a facility in Shanghai.

-Farah Alkhalisi