Driverless cars and high-definition mapping have a very interesting bond. Basically, autonomous vehicles are a great way to build HD road maps, which clearly helps out the mapping companies. In return, the better the HD maps are, the better the driverless cars will perform. By helping each other out, both sides are being compensated and are benefiting from the collaboration.

GM has recognized this and is now using their driverless vehicle unit, the Cruise, to begin HD mapping. They are planning on covering over 100 cities, which would give them a large advantage over other rival companies. Seeing as how many automakers are currently working on high-def mapping, GM needs to do everything they can to get ahead.

While some automakers are still letting suppliers worry about the mapping, many are realizing the benefits of owning their own maps in-house. By having your own technology right at your fingertips, you have the potential to grow at your own rate of speed and have more to offer to consumers.

This is definitely the right direction for GM if they want to get a step on the competition. It seems like everybody in the world is trying to release the first, fully autonomous vehicle, and strides like this are absolutely necessary in order to reach that goal. Luckily for GM, they already have plenty of Chevy Bolt EV cars to test their Cruise system on, allowing them to get maps done quickly and giving them the chance to see real-world performance.