NTT DATA, in collaboration with Toyota Research Institute-Advanced Development and Maxar Technologies, has announced it will produce a proof of concept to build automated high definition maps for autonomous vehicles using satellite imagery. 

The collaboration intends to move towards advancing Toyota Research Institute-Advanced’s open software platform concept known as Automated Mapping Platform (“AMP”) and to help realise the scalability of autonomous driving.

NTT DATA say that autonomous vehicles use several real-time sensors to ensure safe driving and that these sensors need to be cross-referenced with a HD map for safe operation.

According to TRI-AD analysis, currently, HD maps cover less than 1% of the global road network.

The three companies intend to work together to process satellite imagery into vehicle-friendly HD maps. Leveraging Maxar’s cloud-based Geospatial Big Data platform (GBDX), imagery from Maxar’s optical satellite imagery library will be fed into NTT DATA’s specialised algorithms which use Artificial Intelligence to extract necessary information to generate the detailed road network.

The three companies are initially focusing on creating an automated HD map for a predefined area of the Tokyo metropolitan region, which opens the future possibility of supporting automated mobility on all roads.

Mandali Khalesi, Vice President Automated Driving at TRI-AD said, ‘Machine learning is helping automate the discovery and integration of semantic relationships between road elements within image data.’

‘High-definition maps are an essential element for the navigation and safety of autonomous vehicles, and Maxar is proud to provide the data and analytics platform that make HD maps possible,’ said Paul Granito, Maxar’s Vice President of Global Sales.

This article is from Smart Highways Magazine, who are firm supporters of ICAV. For information on how to join as ICAV members, please click here.