Mitsubishi Tests First Ever Autonomous Driving System Using QZSS

Mitsubishi Electric Corporation has begun field testing the world’s first autonomous driving solution using centimeter-level augmentation service (CLAS) broadcast from the Quasi-Zenith Satellite System (QZSS). Driving tests are being conducted to verify the possibility of infrastructural driving, utilizing CLAS signals and high-precision 3D maps combined with Mitsubishi Electric’s intelligent driving technology, including sensing technologies such as millimeter-wave radar and cameras.

CLAS is a positioning-augmentation service for high-precision positioning, distributed free of charge in Japan from the QZSS, which operates under the auspices of the Cabinet Office. It is scheduled to begin operation in April 2018 and is currently in the final stages of verification. It is expected to be used for practical applications such as safe-driving assistance and automated driving.

Satellite positioning is used for daily-life solutions that receive positioning signals transmitted by global navigation satellite systems operated in various countries. The precision of existing solution is limited to within a few meters because of errors due to satellite orbits, satellite clocks and satellite biases as well as local environmental factors such as ionospheric and tropospheric delays.

CLAS improves precision by using positioning-augmentation data from a network of continuously operating reference stations (CORS) administrated by the Geospatial Information Authority of Japan. The data is broadcast via the QZSS to high-precision positioning receivers installed in automobiles that can detect locations with centimeter-level accuracy.