By Amanda Weston

Toyota Research Institute-Advanced Development (TRI-AD) and Carmera are partnering to build high definition maps for automated vehicles using camera data.

Thursday's announcement said the partnership is the first step toward an automated mapping platform. It claims that while there are highway HD maps being created, the coverage is less than one percent of the worldwide road network.

"Maps have become a really critical part of the autonomous vehicle stack," Carmera CEO Ro Gupta told Cheddar. "In kind of oversimplified terms, they're essentially the virtual rails that have to be laid down for these automated vehicles to be able to navigate safely. And if you think about it in those terms, laying those rails down for the entire world, it's almost like recreating the railroad industry or something."

Carmera and TRI-AD will put cameras in Toyota test vehicles in downtown Tokyo and then collect data over several months. Those images and data will then be processed on Carmera's real-time platform, automatically generating HD map data. The cars will also have dashcam drive recorders.

"That's a major, major undertaking," Gupta said. "And so this announcement was all about really pushing the limits of the technology to be able to truly scale to that level, to true worldwide, Toyota level scale."

For full interview click here.