Japan: Mitsubishi Electric Corporation has announced to launch a new model of its Mitsubishi Mobile Mapping System, the MMS-G220, a highly accurate measuring system that uses car-mounted GPS antennas, laser scanners and cameras. The system gathers 3D positioning data of road surfaces and roadside features to an absolute accuracy of 10 centimeters, allowing the creation of comprehensive 3D maps to the level of accuracy needed to support autonomous driving.
The new model will initially be offered in overseas markets from October. Offering an integrated, easily mountable, and detachable solution, thus enabling compatibility with numerous car types, the new model is expected to be deployable in a wide range of applications, such as autonomous driving systems and the precise surveying of infrastructure. The company intends to develop business overseas and also expects to release this system in Japan by the year 2017.
The detachable roof-mounted main unit is smaller and lighter than existing models while maintaining the same level of accuracy, allowing broader usage and mounting on a variety of car types. Its improved portability will also facilitate periodic maintenance and inspection.
The previous model required various equipment to be set up inside the vehicle. Integrating this equipment results in a reduction in power consumption, increased operability and more efficient collection of data. Improvement in operability and easier data portability are achieved through the combination of monitors and keyboards with a high-performance laptop and the utilization of high-speed USB connectivity.
Additional software reduces the number of on-roof equipment, while retaining similar capabilities to those of the current model but with lower power consumption, making it possible to power the system from the in-car cigarette lighter socket. The integration of in-vehicle equipment enables simplified wiring, leading to easier installation and more convenient operation.
One market where the company expects to introduce the new system is Korea, where, similarly to Japan, autonomous driving projects are currently under development, resulting in increased demand for the MMS technology that creates the high precision 3D maps needed to support autonomous driving. The system will also make use of Japan’s Quasi-Zenith Satellite System (QZSS), which will commence full service in 2018.
The QZSS will be formed from a constellation of Japan’s positioning satellites, developed by Mitsubishi Electric, which will be in geosynchronous orbit with an inclination of 45 degrees in order to pass near their zenith over Japan and also pass above the Asia-Oceania region, thus providing seamless service regardless of geography. They will significantly improve the accuracy of positioning in areas where signals from GPS satellites cannot be clearly received due to skyscrapers or natural terrain.