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Minsk MapBox office to compete with Tesla?

An American location data platform for mobile and web applications Mapbox , which received investments worth $164 million not so long ago, is opening an R&D office in Minsk on the platform of MapData. Belarusian specialists will be developing program software for self-driving cars.

How it all began

The head of the Minsk MapBox office Alexander Matveenko got acquainted with Eric Gundersen when working on the development of Maps.me. At the time Maps.me were developing offline maps, when MapBox were developing online decisions for the B2B sector. After Map.me was sold, Alexander returned back to Moscow. Nevertheless, Eric Gunderson wanted to dedicate a project on developing map offline-decisions for business and Minsk MapBox office director than started working for MapBox.

What will MapBox office be developing in Minsk?

Primarily, the office is planning to work on creating a SDK which will be able to determine objects, and only then it will working on the self-driving car project.

“We are not car manufacturers. We want to be good in programming. In the end, if our products are good, they will be suitable for any car”, says Alexander Matveenko, director of MapBox office in Minsk.

“MapBox has already determined the aims for the nearest future, however, first we need to build up a team and kick off as soon as possible. We need to learn how to determine objects in bad weather conditions and at different speeds. What is more, MapBox office in Minsk is planning to automate all the questions a driver asks himself”.

Besides road signs the data platform is planning to develop a system which will see weather a cat or a person is running. It is the next level of development, to understand what is going on the road sides as well.

Is MapBox a rival for Tesla?

There are many IT companies which develop AR and VR. Nevertheless, self-driving is quite a prominent issue and all car manufacturers have departments dedicated at self-driving development. Tesla has several good developments, however, at the moment it is all at a research stage and a lot is still to be decided on.

Neural networks and why MapBox needs them

“Certainly, MapBox will not do without neural networks”, explains Alexander Matveenko.

“Neural networks are more efficient in solving problems in the sector. Hopefully, that in the nearest future neural networks will be doing exactly the same things as people. It will take a lot of effort, but it is possible”.

MapBox’ s plans to cooperate with car manufacturers MapBox is interested in integrating with car manufacturers at any stage. What is more, other businesses as taxi and delivery services are interested in integrating with Minsk MapBox office. The investments MapBox received will go towards development of the technologic component, the development of self-driving cars.

It is also necessary to mention that MapBox is pretty sure in Minsk as in a perfect place for opening their office. The founder of MapBox Eric Gundersen is constantly following the IT market of Belarus, its progress and developments in the sector. It is also quite possible that MapBox its offices in other towns and cities of Belarus.

Photo: transinfonews.by 

Minsk MapBox office to compete with Tesla?