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Toyota and Carmera to develop HD maps worldwide for autonomous cars

Toyota and Carmera HD maps

Toyota and Carmera to develop HD maps project through Toyota Research Institute-Advanced Development (TRI-AD)

Toyota Motor Corporation and Carmera are looking at evolving an idea for camera-based automation of high definition maps for urban and surface roads. Toyota is contributing to this project through Toyota Research Institute-Advanced Development (TRI-AD). This concept is said to be the first step towards realizing an open software platform concept known as Automated Mapping Platform (AMP).

When it comes to autonomous cars, there is a need for dependable road information based on HD map data. Though the conception of highway HD maps is on-going, the coverage of data represents less than 1% of the global road network. Currently Assuming HD maps are accessible for the entire highway road network for the US, China, Germany, and Japan (0.23M km). Moreover, this represents less than 1% of the global road network (39.5M km) of the worldwide road network. The subsequent challenge is to make and sustain maps for urban areas and local roads that go beyond the highway road network.

Generation of HD maps

Toyota and Carmera described the process of generation of HD maps for automated driving. According to the two companies, they will place cameras in Toyota test vehicles to collect data over several months from areas of downtown Tokyo. The cameras installed in the test vehicles use Toyota Safety Sense (“TSS”)  which could also be fitted as Lexus Safety System (LSS) for Lexus vehicle. These are mechanisms that Toyota installs on its vehicles globally to generate data for automated driving. Additionally, the images and other data gathered from Toyota Safety Sense will be processed on CARMERA’s real-time platform to automatically generate HD map data.

Also, the placing of commercially available “dashcam” which is also known as Denso-made data-transmission driving recorder in Toyota test vehicles will demonstrate automated map generation from a broader range of sources that do not have Toyota Safety Sense. This can be concluded from Carmera’s millions of miles of driving video collected, structured and enriched through safety monitoring partnerships with professional fleets in other complex environments such as New York City.

Statement from Vice President, automated driving at TRI-AD

Mandali Khalesi, Vice-President of automated driving at TRI-AD, stated, “Currently automated driving map development relies on highly expensive specialized mapping vehicles deployed in limited numbers, and a lengthy manual process for reliable HD map creation. We’re excited to partner with CARMERA to automate HD map generation and help enable automated driving mobility for all.”

Statement from CEO of Carmera

Ro Gupta, CEO at Carmera stated, “CARMERA was founded to deploy next-generation street intelligence at low cost, high speed, and automotive-grade reliability, in order to democratize autonomous mobility at global scale. We’re excited to collaborate with TRI-AD in putting the flexibility and modularity of our platform to work to build HD maps, beginning with one of the largest and most dynamic urban environments in the world.”