Home DRONE NEWSGIS Mapbox equips connected cars and apps with AI maps, backed by new $280 million investment from SoftBank

Mapbox equips connected cars and apps with AI maps, backed by new $280 million investment from SoftBank

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Mapbox equips connected cars and apps with AI maps, backed by new $280 million investment from SoftBank

Mapbox, the location platform powering navigation for Toyota, General Motors, and BMW announced the completion of a $280 million Series E funding round, led by SoftBank Group Corp. and its affiliate (together, “SoftBank”), to fuel investments into AI location services and further broaden its footprint in the automotive industry. The company has long been the go-to location platform for powering mobile apps and logistics, from rendering animated radar maps for The Weather Company to helping Instacart deliver groceries on-time. Now, Mapbox has firmly established itself in the automotive industry, working with brands known for leading the market in innovation.

This new funding accelerates Mapbox efforts to bring AI into the car, with new ADAS features for automated driving and safety that work across a wider range of roads and more geographic locations. The unique Mapbox map allows vehicles and devices to share 28 billion global daily map detections. With an increasingly sophisticated set of sensors inside vehicles, automakers need embedded AI processing to enable fast decision making.

“It’s this combination of data and AI processing that is unique to Mapbox,” said Mapbox CEO Peter Sirota. “It’s what allows us to satisfy our customers’ needs across automotive, logistics, business intelligence, and mobile apps. This investment will allow Mapbox to bring its AI technology closer to the sophisticated camera and LiDAR sensors inside the vehicle, so split-second decisions can be made with the best data possible.”

Mapbox will leverage its real-time map to give automakers the required data and AI to comply with new safety standards such as Europe’s GSR and NCAP. The AI map also plays a role in automotive electrification by integrating with in-vehicle battery systems to monitor energy consumption, intelligently forecasting range, suggesting charging stations based on real-time availability, and facilitating secure payment processing.

Beyond automotive, delivery companies will gain access to local details that efficiently guide drivers to destinations. App developers gain richer 3D map content to create engaging virtual environments in travel, fitness, and weather. And companies of all kinds can leverage the live map to analyze how their business performs through the lens of location intelligence.

“We believe Mapbox is unlocking entirely new applications for AI in the car,” said Vikas Parekh, Managing Partner for SoftBank Investment Advisors. “As AI-driven location features become increasingly sophisticated and computationally demanding, I’m thrilled to see SoftBank’s broad portfolio of companies help Mapbox bring those to market faster.”

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