Tokyo-based Mitsubishi Electric is going to demonstrate the latest version of the ‘xAuto’ at the 2019 Tokyo Motor show which will be held from October 24 to November 4. xAuto is a vehicle that is capable of autonomous driving on roads without high-definition maps. Mitsubishi Electric has also announced that the vehicle would also demonstrate autonomous parking both indoors and outdoors.
Mitsubishi Electric's autonomous driving system is realized with sensor-fusion technologies implemented with peripheral sensors, millimetre-wave radar and cameras and similar other relevant technologies. The vehicle also incorporates infrastructure-assisted technologies incorporating Centimetre Level Augmentation Service (CLAS) signals from the Quasi Zenith Satellite System and high-definition three-dimensional maps.
The company claims that the vehicle has been tested on actual 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 aircrafts, and artificial intelligence (AI) technology, namely ‘Maisart’ (Mitsubishi Electric's AI creates the State-of-the- ART in technology)
Navigation even through farm roads
Centimetre-level vehicle trajectory data, which is measured by using a fusion algorithm with CLAS-based positioning data and other vehicle data, such as speed, yaw rate (degree of lateral movement), among others is recorded several times. Then, these trajectory data is 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, private roads, farm roads and many more.
Demonstration of system robustness and accuracy
The xAuto's ‘Automated Valet Parking System’ calculates the best driving route to a specified parking space based on an operating plan (parking space location, passage points, among others) provided from a control system. When parking outdoors, the system traces the calculated route with CLAS-based positioning. Indoors, the system accurately calculates positions by using cameras mounted on the xAUTO to detect landmarks installed in the parking lot. The xAuto's Automated Valet Parking System calculates the best driving route to a specified parking space based on an operating plan (parking space location, passage points and many more) provided from a control system. When parking outdoors, the system traces the calculated route with CLAS-based positioning. Indoors, the system accurately calculates positions by 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, cameras among others. 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.