Mitsubishi Electric shows concept capable of autonomous driving without high-definition maps
Mitsubishi Electric announced it would exhibit the latest version of its xAUTO, a vehicle the company says is capable of autonomous driving on surface roads without high-definition maps and autonomous parking both indoors and outdoors, during the 46th Tokyo Motor Show 2019 at the Tokyo Big Sight exhibition complex from October 24 to November 4. The xAUTO is a demonstration car that incorporates Mitsubishi Electric’s advanced technologies for autonomous driving.
Mitsubishi Electric’s autonomous driving system is realized with sensor-fusion technologies implemented with peripheral sensors, millimeter-wave radar, and cameras, as well as infrastructure-assisted technologies incorporating Centimeter Level Augmentation Service (CLAS) signals from the Quasi Zenith Satellite System and high-definition three-dimensional maps. Mitsubishi says the system has been tested on surface roads near Tokyo’s waterfront and in the city of Tsukuba, located north of Tokyo. Going forward, Mitsubishi Electric expects to realize fully autonomous driving in designated areas (autonomous driving Level 4) by implementing proprietary traffic-control technologies, which are currently deployed for both railways and aircraft, and artificial-intelligence (AI) technology, namely Maisart (Mitsubishi Electric's AI creates the State-of-the-ART in technology).
With the autonomous driving system, centimeter-level vehicle trajectory data is measured via a fusion algorithm with CLAS-based positioning data and other vehicle data, such as speed and yaw rate (degree of lateral movement), and is recorded several times. Then, these trajectory data are combined into a high-definition local map for use with the autonomous driving system. As a result, the system can work in places where high-definition maps do not exist, such as residential areas and private roads.
The xAUTO's automated valet parking system calculates the best driving route to a specified parking space based on an operating plan (such as parking space location and passage points) provided from a control system. When parking outdoors, the system traces the calculated route with CLAS-based positioning. Indoors, the system accurately calculates positions using cameras mounted on the xAUTO to detect landmarks installed in the parking lot.
In general, autonomous-driving systems require various sensors, such as radars and cameras. However, since data-processing time and data-update cycles vary depending on each sensor's data-gathering method, recognition errors can occur when differently timed information is processed simultaneously. To overcome this problem, Mitsubishi Electric developed a sensor-fusion technology that seamlessly integrates information from various sensors by adjusting the data-output time from each sensor. As a result, the system "robustly and accurately" detects the situation surrounding the vehicle as well as the vehicle's speed.