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Camera-based road-mapping project extends to Michigan

Toyota Research Institute-Advanced Development and road intelligence company Carmera have produced comprehensive, accurate mapping data for roadway features in central Detroit and Ann Arbor.

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Commercially available dashboard-mounted cameras were used to detect key road features
Commercially available dashboard-mounted cameras were used to detect key road features

Toyota Research Institute-Advanced Development (TRI-AD) and road intelligence company Carmera have produced comprehensive, accurate mapping data for both horizontal and vertically positioned roadway features in Michigan.

 

A follow-up to the companies’ camera-based mapping work in Tokyo, this latest phase used commercially available dashboard-mounted cameras to detect key road features with the relative accuracy performance necessary for automated driving.

 

Geospatial technologies

 

Specifically, Carmera’s machine learning, computer vision and geospatial technologies were used to detect and place key road features such as lane markings, traffic signals and signs along Michigan roadways in central Detroit and Ann Arbor.

 

According to the partners, these results validate their vision to use street-level cameras from production vehicles, as well as aftermarket telematics systems, to produce the mapping data.

 

“It shows that with the right approach, companies like TRI-AD can start building the data necessary for automated driving, without having to rely on expensive or proprietary third-party hardware.”

 

This shared objective stems from both companies’ mission to achieve significant reduction in costs and massive expansion in geographic scope of autonomy, allowing it to scale to more people in more places.

 

“Our work together demonstrates the power of developing systems that are built to take advantage of the ubiquity – and understand the constraints – of automotive technology widely in use today,” said Ro Gupta, CEO of Carmera.

 

“It shows that with the right approach, companies like TRI-AD can start building the data necessary for automated driving, without having to rely on expensive or proprietary third-party hardware. TRI-AD is embracing its leadership position here, and we’re proud to help accelerate this pursuit.”

 

The project used the same technology that powers Carmera’s Real-Time Events and Change Management engine, which detects, validates and delivers navigation-critical updates to its regenerative HD mapping system in minutes rather than months, the company claims.

 

Key road features such as lane markings, traffic signals and signs were detected
Key road features such as lane markings, traffic signals and signs were detected

Ground truth

 

Hardware-agnostic, yet anchored to “ground truth,” the companies claim the technology unlocks the potential of lower-cost sensors and the vast array of existing vehicle probes to help maintain HD maps everywhere.

 

“Carmera’s approach has made [it] a valued partner for our mission,” said Mandali Khalesi, vice president of automated driving strategy and mapping at TRI-AD.

 

“Through the use of production vehicle cameras, we have explored the range of widely available sensor inputs we can draw from, as we look to give automated vehicles around the world a deeper, more accurate understanding of their environments, for a safer driving experience for all.”

 

Toyota Research Institute-Advanced Development, located in Tokyo, Japan, was founded in March 2018 for the purpose of developing innovative products that will enable Toyota’s vision of “mobility for all.”

 

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