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)
Field tests of the xAUTO and its autonomous driving technologies were carried out on two Japanese expressways—the Sanyo Expressway (Kobe junction to Ako interchange) and the Douo Expressway (Shibetsu Kenbuchi interchange to Fukagawa interchange)—for more than 300 hours. The tests confirmed that Mitsubishi Electric's autonomous driving technologies operate practically under various road conditions, including bad visibility during dense fog and snow.
In the world’s first field test of CLAS-based autonomous driving on expressway, which took place on 19 September, Mitsubishi confirmed that this technology has advanced to the practical level. In tunnels and other locations where CLAS reception is difficult, autonomous driving was achieved with high-definition location technology to determine the vehicle’s exact position in real time combined with various sensors that monitored the vehicle’s motion, and a forward-monitoring camera.
To enable positioning augmentation when CLAS is not available, Mitsubishi Electric plans to build a worldwide wireless network for centimeter-level positioning compatible with CLAS. Mitsubishi Electric is collaborating in this field with Sapcorda, a German joint-venture formed by Mitsubishi Electric and other companies.
Mitsubishi Electric is also collaborating with Dynamic-Map Platform and Here Technologies to develop high-accuracy 3D mapping for an envisioned global system. Verification tests are planned in Europe and North America.
Mitsubishi Electric will continue developing its original self-sensing driving technology using millimeter-wave radar and forward-monitoring cameras, focusing on collision avoidance at crosswalks on public roads and safe, convenient autonomous driving on highways and expressways. Efforts will also target vision-based forward-monitoring camera technology in collaboration with Mobileye.