Self-Driving Cars Won't Need Accurate Digital Maps, MIT Experts Say

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A rough map of all the world’s roads can fit on a flash drive—and it’s all that self-driving cars will need

Image: MIT CSAIL

One of the truisms of the self-driving car business is that you can’t begin to function properly without super-detailed, constantly updated digital maps that show buildings, trees, and other features.

That might seem no problem at all if you’re a Google spinoff called Waymo. After all, your corporate parent possesses vast mapping capabilities, and besides, you’re driving in your home turf—Mountain View, or maybe Phoenix. But how can even mighty Google map every last country

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