Toyota has big plans for the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show, as it intends to debut new technology at the event that lets self-driving cars collect data on road conditions to improve their mapping capabilities.
The technology will send real-time information about what's going on while the driver's on the road to data-processing centers, and Toyota wants to collect the data with GPS and cameras, according to CNET.
The Japanese automaker, which will show off the features at CES 2016 next week, believes that self-driving technology needs to have a better understanding of road signs, markings and layouts and that cameras and positioning systems can provide this data, USA Today reported. It said that its new technology will provide real-time updates and have a margin of error of only two inches.
The new features will be more advanced than current mapping data for self-driving cars, which currently needs to send out vehicles with three-dimensional laser scanners to create environmental imaging that can be manually corrected on the back end, which leads to maps hardly being updated.
Toyota sees GPS and cameras as a simpler way to map a car's surroundings, as while they aren't as accurate as laser scanners, their greater in supply, which the automaker can use to create enough images to show what the cars are encountering on the road, USA Today noted.
The plan for Toyota is to bring the data-collecting features to production cars by 2020, so it will only be a few years before self-driving cars will have a new way to stay aware of their surroundings.