Maxar, Toyota, NTT Data announce HD map partnership

By on 1 May, 2019

An example of an HD map for automated driving systems, built upon satellite imagery. Image supplied.

Toyota’s autonomous vehicle development arm, space technology firm Maxar and IT service provider NTT DATA have announced a partnership to develop high definition maps for use by autonomous vehicles.

Toyota Research Institute-Advanced Development (TRI-AD) announced that the three firms would collaborate to develop a proof-of-concept automated, high definition map using Maxar’s high resolution satellite imagery.

Current autonomous vehicle prototypes rely heavily on vehicle-mounted real time sensors to stay aware of their surroundings, which are typically cross referenced with GNSS services or a high definition map to validate their inputs. Analysis by TRI-AD indicates that less than one percent of global road networks are covered by HD maps.

This project is designed to speed development of TRI-AD’s Automated Mapping Platform concept (AMP) and ‘help realise the scalability of autonomous driving’, according to materials released by TRI-AD.

Mandali Khalesi, Vice President Automated Driving at TRI-AD said that the project would leverage Maxar’s GBDX optical satellite imagery platform, and NTT DATA’s artificial intelligence based imagery processing algorithms.

“Recent advances in electronics and aerospace engineering are leading to higher resolutions and more frequent updates of global imagery from space-based assets. Additionally, machine learning is helping automate the discovery and integration of semantic relationships between road elements within image data. We’re excited to collaborate with Maxar and NTT DATA to revolutionize automated driving mobility for all,” he said.

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