Whoever Owns the Maps Owns the Future of Self-Driving Cars

“Nominally, you can do autonomous driving without high-definition maps,” says Sam Abuelsamid, senior research analyst at Navigant Research. “But if you get into challenging situations like rainy or snowy conditions, or can’t see the curbs or lane markings, it’s almost like putting a blind person behind the wheel.” Therein lies the rub. For self-driving cars to gain real market acceptance, they need to have “anytime, anywhere capability,” Abuelsamid says.