CARMERA and Toyota Research Institute-Advanced Development (TRI-AD) used consumer-grade cameras to map Michigan roadways, including in central Detroit.
Coupled with their prior work together in Tokyo, the collaboration shows that the companies can maintain autonomous-grade maps from commodity, device-agnostic sources—in this case leveraging both production vehicle cameras and aftermarket "dashcams"—at significantly lower cost than traditional methods.
The ongoing partnership helps pave the way for the massive expansion of coverage needed to map the world's roads in high definition and enable safe autonomy for all.
Toyota Research Institute-Advanced Development, Inc. ("TRI-AD") and leading road intelligence company CARMERA Inc. ("CARMERA") today announced new results from their ongoing partnership. A follow-up to the companies'successful 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. 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.
These results validate TRI-AD and CARMERA's vision to use street-level cameras from production vehicles, as well as aftermarket telematics systems, to produce comprehensive, accurate mapping data for both horizontal and vertically positioned roadway features. 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 initiative between the two companies used the same technology that powers CARMERA's Real-Time Events and Change Management engine, which detects, validates and delivers navigation-critical updates to CARMERA's regenerative HD mapping system in minutes rather than months. Hardware-agnostic, yet anchored to "ground truth," 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 them 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."
The companies look to continue their work, as TRI-AD and CARMERA continue to expand their respective technology, partnership and data platforms.
Toyota Research Institute-Advanced Development, Inc. (TRI-AD), located in Tokyo, Japan, was founded in March 2018 for the purpose of developing innovative products that will enable Toyota's vision, "Mobility for All." TRI-AD's mission is to create new technology and advanced safety systems for the world. TRI-AD also oversees Toyota's newly announced Woven City, that will serve as an incubator for smart city design, connected mobility, and robotics technology from Toyota and its partners.
CARMERA is the leading road intelligence company building fully regenerative, production HD maps—via a 100x cheaper and faster approach from crowdsourced, camera-only updates—to deliver safe autonomy for all. Working with top automotive OEMs and mobility-as-a-service companies across North America, EMEA and Asia, CARMERA supports Level 2 (human-first) through Level 4 (machine-first) autonomy utilizing its sensor- and format-agnostic approach, and modular map creation and map maintenance offering. With a team hailing from the world's leading mapping, machine vision and AI institutions, and most recent venture backing led by GV (Google Ventures), CARMERA is headquartered in New York City and Seattle, with satellites in San Francisco, London, Detroit, Seoul and Tokyo. Learn more at carmera.com.