Mitsubishi Electric announced today that it began field testing the world’s first autonomous driving technology on highways to use a centimeter-level augmentation service (CLAS) broadcast from the Quasi-Zenith Satellite System (QZSS) on September 19. 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. CLAS is scheduled to begin operating 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.
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. Driving tests will be 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.