Forté Ventures invests in Ushr to bring high-def maps to autonomous vehicles

By Louis Rajczi

How do we make an autonomous vehicle see the road and plot the journey the way that we do? It’s a question that some of the best minds in the tech and automotive worlds have spent decades trying to solve – and one in which VCs have invested staggering amounts of capital. The answer remains incomplete, but most agree that the near-term solution will involve a number of inputs that all provide a piece of a vehicle’s larger navigational picture, just as human drivers use each of their senses in tandem to get from Point A to Point B today.

Forté Ventures is excited to announce its investment in Ushr, a company that’s developing one of the most critical inputs in that autonomous navigation equation – high definition maps. Ushr’s mapping and navigation software, which integrates directly with vehicles’ Autonomous Driving and Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), allows for precise vehicle control by determining vehicle position, detecting roadway landmarks, and enabling quick and effective decision making.

The high degree of accuracy of Ushr’s technology is possible thanks to the company’s expertise in LIDAR mapping and the innovative ways in which they are using LIDAR to provide a “real world” view of roadways and routes.

“Ushr provides a long-range view that allows the vehicle to proactively plan safer routes and anticipate roadway changes instead of merely reacting to sensor inputs,” says Bruce Gordon, Ushr’s CEO. “In a recent road test comparison, our nearest competition had dozens of lane touches and several crossovers; our maps had zero touches and zero crossovers.”

The 2018 Cadillac CT6 is the first vehicle on the market using Ushr’s technology as part of the new Cadillac Super Cruise feature (more on that here). Collaboration with Cadillac and GM came as a natural follow-up to GM Ventures’ strategic investment in the company, alongside Forté Ventures.

There remain a number of unsolved pieces to the driverless puzzle, but Ushr is poised to fill in a major gap with its mapping technology. Forté Ventures is excited to work with the team on their path moving forward.