The Japanese government is currently developing self-directed vehicles ahead of the next Summer Olympic Games in 2020 which will be held in Tokyo. According to the Nikkei Asian Review, Tokyo-based Dynamic Map Planning will create detailed high-definition, three-dimensional maps for self-driving cars. The maps would instruct vehicles to slow down for traffic lights, sharp turns and road works, and allow them to identify slopes in roads.
Increasing the resolution provides a clearer picture to the self-driving cars on highway off ramps, which may result in less technical issues on the road when an autonomous car doesn’t know what to do. The consortium of companies will start mapping 300km of the country’s main expressways. It hopes to extend the mapping to cover the entire country, but that will take time.
The technology would supplement sensors that help driverless vehicles stay within their lanes and detect other cars around them. The new venture was established by Mitsubishi Electric; Zenrin, a Japan-based navigation technology company; and nine automakers, including Toyota. Dynamic Map Planning will outfit Tokyo with digital infrastructure that would relay critical information to autonomous vehicles.