News - Toyota

Data gathering network uses regular Toyotas to collect info for autonomous cars


TOYOTA will show off a significant innovation in autonomous driving technology at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) early next year, with a new map-generation system that captures information from a vehicle’s surroundings.

Cars equipped with cameras and sensor banks store images and information as they negotiate all driving environments, and send the data back to a command centre where it is collated and used to generate an up-to-the-minute map.

That fresh information can then be redistributed to other vehicles for a more reliable reference. The system is beneficial to more conventional GPS and navigation equipment, but is of particular importance to autonomous vehicles, which are more dependent on the latest information.

Using regular cars to gather information is far more efficient and faster than previous methods such as Google’s street-view cars, which use more specialised equipment to gain information as they travel around the world’s roads.

While Toyota’s approach uses more basic equipment and has a higher risk of errors, a far greater number of vehicles will return more information, allowing multiple references and data cross-checking and the correction of mistakes in the collation process.

The Japanese car-maker says it plans to offer production cars with the system by 2020, but does not predict how soon after autonomous vehicles will start using the collected information.

Other manufacturers have already started exploring the potential of peer-to-peer (P2P) technology where vehicles and even buildings share information regarding their surroundings, but this is the first time that information has been sent to a processing centre before use.

The refining of the data before distribution will result in a more dependable service according to Toyota.

CES is increasingly becoming a popular venue for car manufacturers to showcase new vehicles and technology, as automotive design and engineering becomes ever more dependent on cutting-edge electronics.

Last year Audi, Hyundai, BMW and Mercedes exhibited new technology at the show, and more car-makers are expected to join Toyota at the 2016 event, which kicks off from January 6.


Toyota  Data is power: Toyota’s clever new information farming system will rapidly produce an up-to-date map of the world that self-driving cars can read.










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