Hivemapper Unveils New Bee Dashcam To Challenge Google’s Map Dominance


Mapping startup Hivemapper is set to launch its latest weapon in the battle against Google’s map dominance. The company’s co-founder believes that the new Bee dashcam, revealed on Wednesday, will play a crucial role in accelerating efforts to gain market share from Google.

Key Takeaway

Hivemapper’s new Bee dashcam aims to revolutionize mapping efforts and challenge Google’s map dominance by capturing fresher and more valuable mapping data, targeting corporate fleets and achieving impressive milestones in a shorter time frame than Google’s Street View.

Hivemapper’s Decentralization Efforts

The new Hivemapper Bee camera is part of the company’s long-term strategy to decentralize mapping and make map data more accessible and affordable. The company aims to expand its customer base beyond ride-hail and delivery drivers to include owners of corporate fleets, with the goal of capturing fresher and more valuable mapping data.

Impressive Progress and Milestones

Hivemapper has already achieved significant progress with data captured from its previous dashcam models, mapping 8 million kilometers (5 million miles) of roads worldwide in just 16 months. This milestone was reached four times faster than Google’s Street View. The company aims to cross 10 million kilometers by early 2024, expecting to reach this mark in April.

Features of the Bee Dashcam

The Bee dashcam is designed to be a more hands-off or “passive” camera, weather-sealed and robust, allowing drivers to mount it outside their cars. It no longer requires a connection to the Hivemapper smartphone app for uploading footage to the company’s servers. The Bee also offers on-device processing for captured data, making it more appealing to corporate fleet customers.

Enhancements and Preorders

The Bee dashcam boasts a larger GPS antenna for precise positioning and the ability to shoot 4K footage at 30 frames per second. Preorders for the Bee dashcam have commenced, with plans to start shipping in the third quarter of this year. The LTE-enabled version is priced at $549, while the WiFi-only variant costs $449.

Accelerating Mapping Efforts

Hivemapper’s head of operations, Gabe Nelson, highlights the speed and efficiency of the company’s crowdsource community in building up mapping data, outpacing Google’s mapping frequency. The company aims to accelerate this rate as it fulfills a backorder list of over 15,000 customers and begins shipping the Bee dashcam.

Focus on Frequency and Business Opportunities

Hivemapper’s CEO, Ariel Seidman, emphasizes the importance of mapping frequency, highlighting the potential for improved mapping data and new business opportunities. The company recently launched Scout, a “location monitoring tool” that offers customers the ability to receive images every time a Hivemapper driver passes by a marked location, creating additional business avenues.

Enhanced Benefits for Contributors

The Bee dashcam is expected to create higher-quality map data, reducing the likelihood of rejection upon submission. Contributors are compensated with Honey tokens, listed on Coinbase’s exchange, and the Bee’s autonomous features, such as auto-uploading data, aim to enhance contributor experience.

Value Proposition for Professional Drivers

Nelson emphasizes the value proposition for professional drivers, highlighting the safety and additional capabilities provided by the Bee dashcam, along with the token rewards. The company aims to provide tangible utility and value beyond token rewards, catering to the needs of professional drivers.

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