Is Toyota Gearing Up to Crowdsource for Automated Driving? | Auto Finance News | Auto Finance News

Is Toyota Gearing Up to Crowdsource for Automated Driving?


Mobileye is clinching help from two major automakers to crowdsource data for the creation of the detailed maps needed for autonomous vehicles.

And it seems other partnerships could be on the horizon this year.

Toyota Research Institute hinted to Auto Finance News that more “cross-collaboration” partnerships can be expected, potentially with Toyota Motor Corp.

“Everybody talks to everybody,” especially in Silicon Valley, John Hanson, director of public affairs at Toyota Research Institute, told Auto Finance News. “Whether you are an IT company or an automaker, we are all in this big time. This technology changes quickly; it’s starting to ramp up because sensor technology is getting better and cheaper.”

Toyota Research Institute is looking at every opportunity, whether it’s partnering with another automaker or a startup, Hanson said. “There are a lot of good companies out there,” and “we talk to everybody,” he added.

Hanson declined to offer specifics on future partnerships or crowdsourcing efforts for Toyota, but said that “everyone will to continue to see cross-collaborative efforts on the part of automakers and IT companies.”

Yesterday, Mobileye, an Israeli technology company, announced a partnership with BMW Group — and Volkswagen AG last week — to turn the automakers’ fleets into map data-gathering machines.

Soon, all new BMWs and VWs equipped with the supplier’s camera-based Advanced Driver Assist System (ADAS) system will be sending information about their surrounding environment to Mobileye’s online cloud to build Mobileye’s Global RoadBook. The RoadBook is a live high-definition map that is continuously updated using crowdsourced data it receives from vehicles on the road — in this case, BMW’s and VW’s vehicles.

Once the data from all vehicles is aggregated on Mobileye’s servers, it is shared back out to its German mapping partner, HERE, which will use the data to conduct real-time updates of HERE’s HD live map and real-time cloud service for automated vehicles.

The agreements between Mobileye, BMW, and VW were entered into with “a sense of inclusiveness and industry collaboration,” to promote safe and robust automated driving. For example, BMW Group sensor data can be merged with data from other manufacturers, resulting in a larger scale of data used to create the RoadBook. BMW Group also said that it is open for collaboration with additional partners, be it OEMs or other third parties.


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