Toyota’s New map Generation Technique

Toyota being one of the industry leaders in cars and SUVs, produces close to 10 million vehicles every year. From small segment cars to MUVs, SUVs to one of the most high tech hybrid sedans in the world, Toyota pays high attention to technology aspect. Toyota is known for using state of the art sensors and camera in its vehicles apart from other technology components. This technology would prove to be beneficial in its new map generation technique.

A Different Approach towards Automated Driving.

Taking a different step towards Automated Driving Technology, Toyota recently unveiled a new system for generating hyper-precise maps using data from its on-board cameras on vehicles and GPS devices at CES, Las Vegas. Traditionally, data for mapping is gathered through high end expensive vehicles equipped with 3D lasers and what not, which survey the roads for this specific reason only.

Now when a company has the general public as their surveyors, why do they need such expensive proposition? Yes, Toyota has millions of its cars on road equipped with high end cameras and sensors which makes this move exceptional as well as cost effective. Chunks of data from vehicles all over the world will then be sent to Toyota data centers, where it will be used to create hyper-precision maps.

Route Mapping is Critical

Route mapping has been a critical aspect when it comes to companies trying to succeed in the driver less cars domain in the future. Safer roads with driver-less cars would only be possible through in depth route analysis of various cities and data plays a major role here.  This new system uses automated, cloud-based spatial information generation technology to generate high-precision road image data from the data banks and GPS devices used by designated vehicles. Now this data will be in real time that a dedicated vehicle cannot provide because, it’s simple, it is dedicated for this task only! Production vehicles will provide this data without the driver ever realizing doing so, driving habits, techniques, frequency, style, etc such data is collected naturally and pushed to the servers.

Too good to be true?

Now, the obvious doubt would be the reliability of this data because of it dependency on on-board camera and GPS in this way, with user interference and other factors in mind. The errors can be easily tackled and rectified using numerous image matching techniques that consolidate and correct road image data from multiple vehicles. This restricts the margin of error on straight roads to a maximum of 5 cm.

Toyota plans to take this forward and make it available in its production vehicles with full throttle by 2020. While initially use would be limited to some motorways only, vast routes would be targeted to be captured and mapped in the near future.

Image: Toyota

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