Mapbox has relaunched its Navigation software development kit (SDK) specifically designed for Automotive. The BMW Group is among the first OEM customers to incorporate this new SDK.
The SDK includes a location engine rewritten from ground up with dead reckoning, electronic horizon, intelligent offline capabilities, electric vehicle routing, all while building on Mapbox’s scaled capabilities of streaming map updates with daily refreshes, real-time traffic based routing, and a map design using Mapbox Studio.
Mapbox provides BMW the software for navigation and the cloud services to stream live maps in vehicles. BMW is designing and developing their navigation application inhouse, using the Mapbox Navigation SDK for Android and designing their map styles using Mapbox Studio.
“The flexible building blocks, customizability, and cloud-first architecture convinced us that Mapbox is the best partner to power our next generation in-car navigation and have our in house team develop the navigation application with a unique user experience on top of the SDK,” said Stephan Durach, BMW Group SVP Connected Company Development, Technical Operations.
Mapbox and BMW have struck a technology partnership where many of the advanced features are developed with close input from the BMW team. As a platform company, Mapbox incorporates enhancements directly into its SDKs available as a subscription with monthly releases to any automotive customer, enabling a continuously improving user experience.
Mapbox updates the map in the cloud, distributed across data centers around the globe. This allows the company to regenerate the global map with 2.3 billion road segments on a daily basis, conflating dozens of vendor sources and applying dynamic updates from sensor readings as corrections on top. Mapbox has 700 million monthly active users, creating a feedback cycle of data. OEM’s can enable instant map feedback, making the experience better every time a driver provides input. The cloud platform uses an AI-powered data pipeline to process +300 million miles of aggregated, anonymized and privacy-filtered driving data live road telemetry data daily — allowing Mapbox to continuously update data on the map everywhere in the world.
Updated data is streamed to vehicles as ultra-light vector map tiles, letting the vehicles to only download the data that has actually changed and is needed. This allows for a daily updated map delivered into the vehicle at low bandwidth cost. The technology can be freely configured by car makers to create solutions for partial connectivity (hybrid mode) or full offline scenarios (offline mode), so vehicles can use the locally cached maps to power the navigation experience.
Mapbox provides high position accuracy, with low latency, so that the driver’s location on the map stays in sync with the vehicle’s actual location. Mapbox’s proprietary location engine continually filters and processes GPS signals and extrapolates a driver’s current location when GPS signals are unavailable using map matching algorithms, to avoid navigation interruptions.
The BMW Group has designed their own custom map styles to match their brand and trim of each model. Mapbox Navigation provides different camera angles for the map, providing better tracking of the car on the map, and dynamic tilting and zooming controlled movement to change the driver’s viewpoint above the map or on-screen gestures such as pinching.