Toyota Research Institute-Advanced Development Inc. (TRI-AD) and Carmera Inc. are joining forces to develop a camera-based system that will automatically create high-definition (HD) maps of urban and local roads that can be used by automated vehicles.
This is the first step toward 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. Autonomous driving requires highly reliable road information based on HD map data. While the creation of highway HD maps is underway, this coverage currently represents less than 1% of the worldwide road network. The next challenge is to create and maintain HD maps for urban areas and local roads that go beyond the highway road network, in order to support the future worldwide roll-out of autonomous vehicles (AV).
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 the auto maker 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 Denso-made ‘dashcam’ data-transmission driving recorders in Toyota test vehicles, the project will demonstrate automated map generation from a broader range of sources that do not have TSS.
The project draws upon Carmera’s millions of miles of driving video that has been collected, structured and enriched through safety monitoring partnerships with professional fleets in other complex environments such as New York City. By combining maps automatically generated via the techniques employed in this project with digital maps that are currently available, it will be possible to provide even more reliable road information to AVs 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.
“Currently automated driving map development relies on highly expensive specialized mapping vehicles deployed in limited numbers, and a lengthy manual process for reliable HD map creation,” noted Mandali Khalesi, vice president of automated driving at TRI-AD. “We’re excited to partner with Carmera to automate HD map generation and help enable automated driving mobility for all.”
Carmera’s CEO, Ro Gupta, added, “We were founded to deploy next-generation street intelligence at low cost, high speed and automotive-grade reliability, in order to democratize autonomous mobility at global scale. We’re excited to collaborate with TRI-AD in putting the flexibility and modularity of our platform to work to build HD maps, beginning with one of the largest and most dynamic urban environments in the world.”