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Mitsubishi Electric And HERE Develop Road Hazard Alert System To Improve Driver Safety


Mitsubishi Electric Corporation and HERE Technologies have successfully piloted a system that enables vehicles to automatically warn others about upcoming road hazards with lane-level precision.

At the end of March, the two companies successfully completed field tests of the technology, called Lane Hazard Warning, in California in the United States. This followed a successful trial in Ibaraki Prefecture in Japan last winter.

The companies now intend to make the technology available broadly to automakers for them to test in their vehicles.

Lane Hazard Warning enables an event detected by a vehicle's sensors - such as a disabled or slow car, a slippery road, debris or a pothole - to be precisely localized to a specific lane and this information to be transmitted in real-time via the cloud to other vehicles approaching the same area.

"When something unusual happens on the road ahead drivers often have very little time to react and that can put them and their passengers at risk," said Hiroshi Onishi, Executive Officer and Group President of Automotive Equipment at Mitsubishi Electric. "Together with HERE Technologies, we've developed a new system designed to give drivers a few valuable extra seconds or minutes to prepare for a potential danger on the road ahead, such as by switching lanes or simply driving with greater caution. We're excited about the potential of this system in improving driver safety."

Lane Hazard Warning utilizes a vehicle's sensors together with HD Locator, Mitsubishi Electric's precise centimeter-level positioning technology, and the HERE Open Location Platform, the collaborative big location data platform.

As part of their broad collaboration, the companies are also evaluating the application of the technology in automated updates of maps for automated vehicles using the cloud as well as in a service that alerts cities and road maintenance authorities to road surface degradation.

"HERE Technologies and Mitsubishi Electric are showing how your car can learn from the experiences of other cars on the road to make for a much safer driving experience," said Jørgen Behrens, SVP and Head of Applications and Services at HERE Technologies. "We believe fast, accurate and targeted hazard alerts will be a critical part of the data infrastructure required for automated driving and smart city services. We look forward to seeing this technology in the market."

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