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Toyota and CARMERA team up to build high definition maps for automated vehicles using camera data

Toyota Research Institute-Advanced Development, Inc. (TRI-AD) and CARMERA, Inc. are conducting a joint proof-of-concept project to develop camera-based automation of high definition (HD) maps for urban and surface roads.

This is the first step towards realizing TRI-AD’s open software platform concept known as Automated Mapping Platform (AMP) to support the scalability of highly automated driving, by combining data gathered from vehicles of participating companies to generate HD maps.

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CARMERA feature detection image in downtown Tokyo.

Automated driving requires highly reliable road information based on HD map data. While the creation of highway HD maps is underway, this coverage represents less than 1% of the worldwide road network. The next challenge is to create and maintain maps for urban areas and local roads that go beyond the highway road network.

In this proof of concept, the two companies 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) components that Toyota installs on its vehicles globally.

Images and other data gathered from TSS will be processed on CARMERA’s real-time platform to automatically generate HD map data. In addition, by placing commercially available dashcam drive recorders in Toyota test vehicles, the project will demonstrate automated map generation from a broader range of sources that do not have TSS.

This draws upon CARMERA’s millions of miles of driving video collected, structured and enriched through safety monitoring partnerships with professional fleets in other complex environments like New York City.

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TRI-AD / CARMERA mapmaking from vehicle cameras in downtown Tokyo

By combining maps automatically generated via the techniques employed in this project with digital maps available today, it will be possible to provide even more reliable road information to automated vehicles in the future. By generating HD maps based on data acquired from commercially available vehicles around the world, automated driving can be enabled on all roads.

Toyota Research Institute-Advanced Development, Inc. is focused on the advanced development of software for automated driving efforts. Its mission is to build the world’s safest automated driving car, as well as strengthening coordination with TRI’s research results and the research and advanced development within the Toyota Group. Activities include developing automated driving software, leveraging data-handling capabilities and creating a straight line from research to commercialization.

CARMERA is a street intelligence platform specializing in large-scale, “living” HD maps for autonomous vehicles. In addition to utilizing data from customer vehicles, CARMERA provides a visual telematics service for professional fleets to improve the safety and productivity of high coverage vehicles on the road today, in turn helping identify real-time change detection and navigation-critical events to keep precision 3D maps up-to-date for some of the leading automotive OEMs and mobility-as-a-service companies in the world.

CARMERA also partners with cities to share planning data such as pedestrian density and construction events in promoting private-public partnerships that ensure autonomous mobility works for all.

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