Toyota has claimed that they are going to start using existing technology that is already fitted to its cars to create an all-new real-time mapping service. This new technology will be unveiled for the first time at the Consumer electronics show next month.
What it claims to do is to use existing cameras and GPS fitted to its newer cars to provide a clearer and more intuitive understanding of road layouts, signs and traffic hotspots which Toyota are claiming is essential for implementing this for driving forward safe automated driving for the future.
Traditional mapping that is used in current GPS units and navigation systems is of very limited use due to the lacklustre data-gathering methods. In short they are not updated often enough. Toyota states “While a system relying on cameras and GPS in this manner has a higher probability of error than a system using three-dimensional laser scanners, positional errors can be mitigated using image matching technologies that integrate and correct road image data collected from multiple vehicles.”
This is a much more affordable solution than utilising expensive laser scanners, as this new system rolls out it will be quite inaccurate but as time goes by and more and more vehicles pass by and use these new maps – they will become more and more accurate. Toyota claims that once up and running this new system should have accuracy levels of within 5cm!
According to reports this move has come about due to The VW group, Mercedes and BMW purchasing HERE Maps which is the largest mapping service currently in use today by modern in car satellite navigation systems. Toyota’s method circumvents the need for this with their own bespoke solution, which arguably could be more successful. If this makes your car safer this can only be a good thing, the question is will it lower car insurance premiums in anyway for UK drivers? We will have to see.