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Japan Consortium to Develop 3-D Maps for Autonomous Driving

Enhancing the safety of autonomous driving requires more detailed information than the capability of exiting car navigation systems, such as the numbers of traffic lanes and their widths, the locations of traffic lights, utility poles and road signs and the slope angles of roads.

The consortium of companies, including Mitsubishi Electric Corp. and map publisher Zenrin Co., aim to complete the development of 3-D map standards by 2020, when the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games will be held.

Existing autonomous driving technologies mainly utilize information from sensors and cameras mounted on vehicles. But the sensors and cameras may not be able to detect traffic lanes in certain weather and sunlight conditions.

High-precision 3-D maps are expected to help overcome those problems, industry sources said.

For the development of such maps, six car navigation systems-related companies, including Aisan Technology Co., and nine major automakers, including Toyota Motor Corp., established Dynamic Map Planning Co. in June.

The companies plan to make high-precision 3-D maps of the nation’s roads with measuring errors of as little as 10 centimeters, nearly 20 times as precise as conventional car navigation systems.

One of the challenges they face is deciding how frequently the maps need to be updated, as roads are continually being repaired.

With Toyota and other automakers aiming to realize autonomous driving technologies by 2020, Dynamic Map Planning will speed up its development efforts, the sources said. – TheJapanTimes

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  1. Mitsubishi Electric Develops Technologies for Automated 3D Mapping | Ministry of Urban Mobility -Motion Digest

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