Naver Labs creates high-definition 3D model map of Seoul for autonomous vehicles

18, Jun. 2020

(Image courtesy of Naver Labs)
(Image courtesy of Naver Labs)

SEOUL, AJU - To help autonomous vehicles navigate through the webbed streets in Seoul, Naver Labs, the artificial intelligence wing of South Korea's largest web portal operator, has created a 3D model map for the creation of high-definition digital information on roads, buildings and on-road facilities.

Seoul, a 700-year-old city that has some 9.7 million people living over an area of 605 square kilometers (233 square miles) has some roads drawn in straight lines, especially in southern districts. Many other areas have narrow streets and alleys and maintain the shape of their ancient forms that squirm through residential areas and market places, making it hard for human and robot drivers to navigate.

Naver Labs said in a statement that the company has used artificial intelligence (AI) and some 25,000 high-definition aerial photographs to create a 3D model map of the capital city with some 600,000 buildings.

"The map is accurate and allows us to create large quantities of high-definition maps for autonomous vehicles or delivery robots," Naver Labs CEO Seok Sang-ok was quoted as saying. He said that the company plans to utilize the 3D model map of Seoul.

High-definition digital maps are regarded as a lighthouse that will guide autonomous vehicles around urban areas and help unmanned vehicles communicate through networks to optimize traffic lights or detect pedestrians on the sidewalk after sunset.

South Korea is accelerating a drive to become a leading player in autonomous driving and connected car technologies. Already there are autonomous shuttles being demonstrated in urban areas. A full high-definition map would ensure the safe operation of unmanned vehicles.