The autonomous driving industry is developing by leaps and bounds, facilitating the evolution of the HD map market. The higher level autonomous driving is, the more accurate HD map is required. It is predicted that global HD map market will be worth over $9 billion in 2025.
The HD map industry is now in its infancy, with key players including map providers, start-ups, autonomous driving chip vendors, Tier 1 suppliers, automakers and mobility service firms. They are seeking for cooperation to jointly boost the industry while they are competing fiercely. Those who are the first to finish production of HD map will rule the roost in the market. Players of all levels thus shun their counterparts in cooperation.
Map providers: they are generally grown from conventional navigation map providers, dedicating themselves to collecting data to produce base map for HD map, updating data and rolling out total HD map solutions. Major players include Here, TomTom, Waymo, AutoNavi (Amap), NavInfo and Baidu Maps.
These map giants are now busy with data acquisition. Among them, Here, TomTom, AutoNavi and Baidu Maps have collected an average of more than 300,000km apiece.
In China, map providers must acquire “Class A Digital Navigation Map Production Qualification”, which means foreign firms are all ineligible for producing map in China, so they often team up with local qualified peers.
Start-ups: they are currently in the majority in HD map market, providing map providers with crowdsourcing data, map updates, and software and hardware technologies for high precision positioning. But they can be direct providers of HD map solutions as long as they get the qualification. For instance, Momenta became the first start-up qualified for map production in late 2018, before which qualifiers were largely entities and conventional map providers. So it is expected that issuing licenses to start-ups will be a tendency in China.
Automakers and mobility service firms: as the end users of HD map, they will not only offer HD map updates but help producers with crowdsourcing.
In the future, as finished HD map products are launched, data update (often done by start-ups, chip vendors, automakers and mobility service firms) will be a focus, and crowdsourcing update grows a trend.