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[Due to the increasing size of the archives, each topic page now contains only the prior 365 days of content. Access to older stories is now solely through the Monthly Archive pages or the site search function.]

Audi displays new AI project at NIPS: mono camera with semantic segmenting and depth estimates creates precise 3D model of environment

December 04, 2017

Audi is exhibiting an innovative pre-development project to support autonomous driving at the NIPS 2017 conference in Long Beach, California, this week. A project team from the Audi subsidiary Audi Electronics Venture (AEV) developed a mono camera that uses artificial intelligence to generate an extremely precise 3D model of the environment. This technology makes it possible to capture the exact surroundings of the car.

A conventional front camera acts as the sensor. It captures the area in front of the car within an angle of about 120 degrees and delivers 15 images per second at a resolution of 1.3 megapixels. These images are then processed in a neural network. This is where semantic segmenting occurs, in which each pixel is classified into one of 13 object classes. This enables the system to identify and differentiate other cars, trucks, houses, road markings, people and traffic signs.

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HERE and Mitsubishi Electric to partner on advanced location services for autonomous vehicles

October 27, 2017

HERE Technologies and Mitsubishi Electric Corporation (MELCO) intend to link their advanced location technologies for autonomous vehicles into a powerful integrated service offering for automakers.

According to their preliminary agreement, the companies aim to offer services to support cars with ADAS (advanced driver assistance systems) on the road today right through to the fully autonomous vehicles of the future. The companies’ initial focus is on providing services that would, for example, support smart lane-level guidance for vehicles based on real-time information about traffic conditions and incidents.

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Mitsubishi Electric field testing xAUTO autonomous-driving vehicle on expressways

October 18, 2017

Mitsubishi Electric Corporation has been conducting expressway-based field testing of its xAUTO vehicle and related autonomous-driving technologies for self-sensing and network-based driving since May 2016. The xAUTO will be exhibited during 45th Tokyo Motor Show 2017 later this month.

Mitsubishi Electric named its autonomous driving technologies “Diamond Safety.” Mitsubishi Electric’s self-sensing driving technology combines various peripheral-sensing technologies, including a forward-monitoring millimeter-wave radar with wide viewing angle, a forward-monitoring camera and a backward side-monitoring millimeter-wave radar. Its infrastructural driving technology uses high-accuracy 3D mapping in combination with a centimeter-level augmentation service (CLAS) broadcast from the Quasi-Zenith Satellite System (QZSS). (earlier post)

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Ushr locks in $10M Series A funding; HD mapping technology for autonomous vehicles; working with GM

September 18, 2017

Ushr Inc., a developer of high-definition (HD) mapping technology and software for autonomous and semi-autonomous vehicles, has secured $10 million in Series A funding, commensurate with its spin-off from GeoDigital, Inc. Forté Ventures led the investment round with participation from EnerTech Capital, Emerald Technology Ventures, and GM Ventures.

Drawing on more than 20 years of experience in mapping engineering structures, power lines, railways and roadways, the Ushr team spent the past three years developing HD map software for autonomous driving. Now having mapped the entire US and Canada controlled access highway network with less than four inches deviation, Ushr’s platform provides the most accurate long and medium-distance sensing systems to enable autonomous vehicles (AVs) to safely navigate roadways.

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Audi’s work with HERE manifesting in enhanced new A8 software and services

September 07, 2017

At the end of 2015, Audi AG, the BMW Group and Daimler AG purchased HERE Technologies, a leading software company for high-resolution digital navigation maps and location-based services, from Nokia. (Earlier post.) HERE is designed as an open platform; since its takeover by the automaker consortium, the company has steadily been expanding its network of expertise in IT through new participations and strategic partnerships.

The new A8 features an array of technologies and connected vehicle services created by the map developer. One of the more obvious results is the new map view with direct destination input—the latest version of Audi’s modular infotainment platform (MIB2+) offers a navigation map with much clearer graphics. It combines highly detailed 3D models of cities worldwide with correspondingly realistic representations of many buildings.

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HERE launches new generation of Real-Time Traffic service with integration of live data from Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz vehicles

July 27, 2017

HERE Technologies has launched the new generation of its HERE Real-Time Traffic service—the first global service on the market that integrates live vehicle sensor data from Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz vehicles with traffic probe information, resulting in significantly higher accuracy and more precise information about traffic conditions.

HERE Real-Time Traffic, available to all current and future customers from any industry and covering more than 60 countries, offers significant improvements in traffic flow data, especially on arterial roads. For more than 30 of those countries, the service also provides incident information with features such as Traffic Safety Warning. Aided by new hard-braking sensor data HERE is now processing, this feature now allows more relevant and timely notifications to the vehicle.

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Bosch, TomTom collaborate on radar localization layer for high-resolution maps for autonomous driving

June 07, 2017

Bosch and the Dutch map and traffic information provider TomTom have developed a radar localization layer for high-resolution maps for automated driving—a first. Up to now, video data has been used for this purpose.

Bosch’s “radar road signature” is made up of billions of individual reflection points. These are formed everywhere that radar signals hit—for example, on crash barriers or road signs—and reproduce the course a road takes. Automated vehicles can use the map to determine their exact location in a lane down to a few centimeters.

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Researchers use Google Street View cars for high-resolution air pollution mapping

Engineering researchers at The University of Texas at Austin and colleagues have demonstrated a measurement approach to for urban air pollution mapping at 4–5 orders of magnitude greater spatial precision than possible with current central-site ambient monitoring.

The team equipped two Google Street View vehicles with the fast-response Aclima Ei measurement and data acquisition platform and repeatedly sampled every street in a 30-km2 area of Oakland, CA, over the course of a year, developing the largest urban air quality data set of its type. The resulting maps of annual daytime NO, NO2, and black carbon at 30 m-scale revealed stable, persistent pollution patterns with “surprisingly” sharp small-scale variability attributable to local sources, up to 5–8× within individual city blocks. A paper on their work is published in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology.

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Cadillac Super Cruise hands-free system uses driver attention system and LiDAR map database

April 11, 2017

The 2018 Cadillac CT6 will feature Super Cruise (earlier post) autonomous driving technology for the highway. Unlike other driver assistance systems, Super Cruise utilizes two advanced technology systems—a driver attention system and precision LiDAR map data—to ensure safe and confident vehicle operation. These systems are added to the network of cameras and radar sensors in the CT6, providing a more data-rich approach to driver assistance.

Super Cruise will be offered as an option on the 2018 Cadillac CT6 prestige sedan, starting this fall in the US and Canadian markets.

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Mitsubishi Electric develops technologies for automated mapping and extraction of transitions in mapping landscape for high-precision 3D maps

March 16, 2017

Mitsubishi Electric Corporation has developed two new technologies to support the creation and maintenance of high-precision 3D maps required for autonomous driving (earlier post): AI-based automated mapping; and the extraction of transitions in mapping landscapes.

The technologies are based on the company’s own Mobile Mapping System (MMS) (earlier post) for the creation of highly precise three-dimensional maps that provide static information of roads and surrounding objects. Both technologies will be exhibited for the first time at CeBIT 2017 in Hannover, Germany from 20-24 March 2017.

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Qualcomm and TomTom partner on crowdsourcing high-definition mapping data for autonomous driving

February 27, 2017

Qualcomm Technologies is working with TomTom on using the Qualcomm Drive Data Platform for high-definition (HD) map crowdsourcing, to accelerate the future of autonomous driving. Qualcomm Drive Data Platform intelligently collects and analyzes data from different vehicle sensors, supporting smarter vehicles to determine their location, monitor and learn driving patterns, perceive their surroundings and share this perception with the rest of the world reliably and accurately.

TomTom’s HD Map, including RoadDNA, is a highly accurate, digital map-based product, which assists automated vehicles to precisely locate themselves on the road and help determine which way to maneuver, even when traveling at high speeds.

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Volkswagen and Mobileye partner on autonomous driving; REM in VWs in 2018

February 14, 2017

Volkswagen and Mobileye will implement a new navigation standard for autonomous driving starting in 2018. Future Volkswagen models will use the camera-based map and localization technology Road Experience Management (REM) from Mobileye. (Earlier post.)

REM uses crowd-sourcing (data from many cars – the swarm) to generate real-time data for precise localization and acquisition of high-definition track data. Volkswagen cars, which are equipped with front cameras, will acquire lane markings and road information via optical sensor systems from Mobileye; this information flows in compressed format into a cloud. This fleet data is used for continuous improvement of high-definition navigation maps with highly precise localization capability.

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Qualcomm introducing Drive Data platform for sensor fusion

January 04, 2017

Qualcomm is introducing the Qualcomm Drive Data Platform to collect and analyze intelligently information from a vehicle’s sensors. Cars will be able to determine their location up to lane-level accuracy, to monitor and to learn driving patterns, to perceive their surroundings, and to share this reliable and accurate data with the rest of the world.

These capabilities will be key for many connected car applications, from shared mobility and fleet management to 3D high-definition mapping and automated driving. Qualcomm Drive Data platform is built on three pillars: heterogeneous connectivity; precise positioning; and on-device machine learning, all integrated into the Qualcomm Snapdragon solution.

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Intel to acquire 15% of HD-mapping company HERE; collaborating on technology for autonomous vehicles and IoT

January 03, 2017

Intel will purchase a 15% ownership stake in HERE, a global provider of high-definition digital maps and location-based services, from HERE’s current indirect shareholders: Audi AG, BMW AG and Daimler AG. The three automakers acquired HERE from Nokia in 2015 (earlier post) with the goal of securing the long-term availability of HERE’s products and services as an open, independent and value-creating platform for cloud-based maps and other mobility services accessible to all customers from the automotive industry and other sectors. The three automakers hold an equal stake in HERE.

In conjunction with Intel’s acquisition of a stake in HERE, the two companies also signed an agreement to collaborate on the research and development of a highly scalable proof-of-concept architecture that supports real-time updates of high definition (HD) maps for highly and fully automated driving.

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Mitsubishi Electric showcasing 3D Advanced Mobile Mapping System at CES 2017

Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, along with Mitsubishi Electric US, Inc., will display a future concept of the recently released new model of its Mitsubishi Mobile Mapping System, the MMS-G22, at CES 2017. The MMS-G220 is a highly accurate measuring system using car-mounted GPS antennas, laser scanners and cameras. (Earlier post.)

The system gathers 3-D positioning data of road surfaces and roadside features to an absolute accuracy of 4 inches (10 cm), allowing the creation of comprehensive 3D maps to the level of accuracy needed to support autonomous driving.

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HERE and Mobileye to partner on crowd-sourced HD mapping for automated driving

December 29, 2016

High-definition (HD) mapping company HERE and Mobileye, developer of computer vision and machine learning, data analysis, localization and mapping for Advanced Driver Assistance Systems and autonomous driving, plan to enter a strategic partnership that links their respective autonomous driving technologies into an enhanced industry-leading offering for automakers.

Under the partnership, Mobileye’s Roadbook—a detailed, cloud-based map of localized drivable paths and visual landmarks constantly updated in real-time—will be integrated as a data layer in HERE HD Live Map, HERE’s real-time cloud service for partially, highly and fully automated vehicles. Roadbook information will provide an important additional layer of real-time contextual awareness by gathering landmark and roadway information to assist in making a vehicle more aware of—and better able to react to—its surroundings, as well as to allow for more accurate vehicle positioning on the road.

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