Today, Google has announced a high-definition update to its car mapping service. Google’s HD map, in contrast to Google Maps, is not a user-facing program but rather an auxiliary layer of data given to the vehicle’s L2+ or L3 assisted driving systems via Google Automotive Services.
The additional data supplements the existing Google Maps information and provides features like accurate lane makers and object localization (road signage) to aid automated vehicles in finding their way around. The driver will have no direct access to the high-definition map or data. The HD mapping may increase the vehicle’s assisted driving capabilities, however, it is unclear whether or not the driver will be aware of this fact.
A Google representative said that for the time being, the company is prioritizing HD mapping on highways and other high-traffic roadways. Still, the representative would not specify which cities or freeways. They mentioned that Google is collaborating with car companies to determine how best to implement HD maps.
With the release of Google Automotive Services, HD maps are now accessible to vehicle manufacturers. They stated that the HD map would be standard in the Volvo EX90 and the Polestar 3 very shortly.