Mitsubishi Electric to Feature xAUTO at 2019 Tokyo Motor Show
The 2019 biennial 46th Tokyo Motor Show is taking place this week from October 24 – November 4. Wow, what a long 12 days that should be. There will be plenty of information to cover, so we’re getting a little ahead with what information some automakers are already letting slip through the cracks. Mitsubishi Electric, a sibling company of Mitsubishi Motors and Mitsubishi Motors Corp (MMC) announced a couple of exhibits they had planned to display. One of these centered around the recent partnership between MMC and MaaS Global Oy – the parent company of the smartphone mobile app Whim (currently overseas) – and two self-driving vehicles. At the Tokyo Motor Show, Mitsubishi Electric will be showing off the newest version of its first concept, the Emirai, and a new concept, the xAUTO. Mitsubishi Electric revealed some new information about the latter just days before the motor show.
As previously discussed, xAUTO is a self-driving vehicle produced by Mitsubishi Electric. Able to conquer the feat of being able to drive on surface roads where high-accuracy maps are not available and autonomous parking both indoors and outdoors, the xAUTO is slowly becoming the favorite of Mitsubishi Electric. During the Motor Show, a video demonstrating the vehicle’s ability to navigate such areas, and some footage showing tests with fully autonomous driving. So, let’s take another look at this cutting-edge tech for the autonomous car.
Most self-driving vehicles today use LiDar systems, or Light Detection and Ranging systems, known as remote sensing methods that use light in the form of a pulsed laser to measure ranges between the emitting object and the object the laser makes contact with. Over the years, it’s become very high-tech, able to display full wireframes of one’s surroundings in multiple colors to measure distance. The Mobile Mapping System (MMS) developed by Mitsubishi Electric does something similar but works differently.
This autonomous driving system is actually pretty complicated. The MMS comes equipped with sensor-fusion technologies implemented with peripheral sensors, millimeter-wave radar and cameras. In addition, infrastructure-assisted technologies incorporating Centimeter Level Augmentation Service (CLAS) signals from the Quasi Zenith Satellite System and high-definition three-dimensional maps come together to build highly-detailed maps of one’s surroundings. Having been tested on surface roads near Tokyo’s waterfront and in the city of Tsukuba, located north of Tokyo, the next step to fully operate at Autonomous Driving Level 4, or fully autonomous driving in designated areas, Mitsubishi Electric will be implementing proprietary traffic-control technologies. Such technology may come from yet another branch of Mitsubishi Corp: Maisart (Mitsubishi Electric’s AI creates the State-of-the- ART in technology).
During the 46th Tokyo Motor Show, Mitsubishi Electric will have three main features going on for the xAuto exhibit. We’ll get a better look at its CLAS-based positioning data, such as speed and degree of lateral movement, that make up its centimeter-level vehicle trajectory. Combined with a high-definition local map, the system can navigate areas where high-definition maps do not exist, such as residential areas, private roads, farm roads, etc. We mentioned xAuto’s ability to park indoors and outdoors, and that’s through the use of a new Automated Valet Parking System that calculates the best driving route to a specified parking space. When outdoors, the system uses CLAS-based positioning and cameras to detect surrounding landmarks. Nifty feature for forgetting where you park?
Lastly, that proprietary sensor-fusion technology installed will demonstrate how the xAUTO can get past recognition errors that can occur when differently timed information is processed simultaneously. Mitsubishi Electric’s sensor-fusion technology can seamlessly integrate the information from various sensors around the vehicle by adjusting the data-output time from each sensor based on the situation surrounding the vehicle as well as the vehicle’s speed.
Now that’s a whole lot of self-driving tech we haven’t much of yet. So far it seems like Mitsubishi Motors Corp may be the only one, and we can’t wait to see more. Be sure to check back next week with University Mitsubishi social media to learn about what else MMC will bring to the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show.