Will new mapping system change landscape?

Toyota says it will unveil a new mapping system that will aid automated driving.

The system, which will be introduced at next month’s Consumer Electronic Show in Las Vegas, will create high-precision maps by cross-referencing onboard camera and GPS data from multiple vehicles.

This is a departure from the traditional method of mapping via 3D laser scanners.

Instead, the road images and vehicle position information of a number of designated cars is sent to data centres where it is automatically pieced together, corrected and updated to create accurate maps that cover a wide area.

Road features such as kerbs and signage are also automatically updated by information fed through by the designated vehicles, which will be a crucial element of driverless cars.

Toyota believes that this technology, which should be available in cars from about 2020, can be implemented and scaled up at a relatively low cost.

It is expected to be limited to motorways initially, with a scaled broadening out to ordinary routes to follow.