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

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.

They will also evaluate how information from vehicle sensors gathered by MELCO can be utilized for high-definition map updates.

Accordingly, the companies intend to draw on their respective technologies, including: HERE’s mapping infrastructure for autonomous cars, HD Live Map; HERE’s Open Location Platform; and MELCO’s precise positioning technology, High-Definition Locator, for data processing, location analytics and the creation of new services.

HERE and MELCO intend to enable services initially for automotive customers in North America and Europe, before making them available more broadly. The companies will also work together to define possible services that target other industries beyond the automotive market.

Location technology is at the core of the digital transformation happening right now across every industry and this has been the starting point for some very productive discussions between HERE Technologies and Mitsubishi Electric. Each company has unique capabilities to bring to the partnership to shape the digital transformation and, together, we believe we can create tremendous value for our customers. While our initial focus will be on self-driving cars, over time we see our collaboration broadening as we explore powerful new services and business models for the emerging autonomous world.

—Edzard Overbeek, CEO of HERE Technologies

Mitsubishi Electric is actively developing self-sensing driving technologies incorporating various peripheral-sensing technologies, and network-based driving technologies incorporating satellite system and high accuracy 3D mapping. We believe that our partnership with HERE Technologies will strengthen our global rollout of network-based technologies for extra-autonomous driving.

—Isao Iguchi, Senior Vice President of MELCO

Earlier this month, Mitsubishi Electric announced it 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. (Earlier post.)

The vehicle uses uses high-accuracy 3D mapping in combination with a centimeter-level augmentation service (CLAS) broadcast from the Quasi-Zenith Satellite System (QZSS). 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.


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