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Feature Article

MFTBC begins joint research project with Woven Alpha

Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation (MFTBC) has embarked on a collaborative research project with Wolven Alpha that seeks to improve the safety of commercial vehicles and explore new technological and commercial possibilities for automated mapping.

The project will combine MFTBC’s automated driving support system, which includes advanced technologies such as Active Drive Assist and Emergency Stop Assist, with Woven Alpha’s Automated Mapping Platform (AMP).

AMP is an open software mapping platform that provides access to comprehensive, high-definition road and lane network maps. Vehicle automation requires highly accurate, up-to-date maps to ensure safe vehicle operation on highways and surface roads – and this is where the collaboration is hoped to bear most fruit.

The partnership will initially focus on calibrating MFTBC’s Entering Curve Speed Warning (ECSW) technology. To function correctly, ECSW requires mapping technology and vehicle data to communicate effectively.

ECSW is a system that aims to give drivers sufficient advance warning before they enter a sharp curve, enabling them to slow down before difficult sections of road and drive with more confidence.

Research will start in 2021, using a Shogun truck. It will be the first verification test to implement AMP for heavy-duty commercial vehicles.

Shogun’s automated technology, such as Active Emergency Breaking Assist, has already proven it’s worth in the Kiwi market, as Hawke’s Bay contractor Mike Barker found out in June. 

The two companies have identified more than 10 potential target areas for collaboration, which are expected to expand following the conclusion of the ECSW verification.

“MFTBC approaches automated driving assistance technology, and the autonomous driving technology beyond that, as a strategic point of focus in producing safer commercial vehicles. We are doing our utmost to develop these technologies, because we believe that they will soon be indispensable in our world,” said Hironobu Ando, Senior Vice President, Head of Product Engineering, Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation.

Mandali Khalesi, Vice President of Automated Driving Strategy and Mapping, Woven Planet Holdings added: “We are delighted to collaborate with Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation, one of the leading truck and bus makers in Japan.

“Our work is not only about getting people and goods from A to B, it is about saving people’s lives and reducing the burden on the driver. Over the last few years, we have been working on developing highly accurate semantic HD maps updated automatically frequently, and inexpensively. This is the first step in our commitment to helping maximise safety for commercial vehicles.”

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