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Mitsubishi Electric Looks to Replace Vehicle Mirrors with AI-Assisted Cameras

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【Summary】To improve safety, Mitsubishi Electric has developed a camera system assisted by AI. It may soon replace traditional vehicle mirrors.

Mia Bevacqua    Feb 25, 2018 8:15 AM PT
Mitsubishi Electric Looks to Replace Vehicle Mirrors with AI-Assisted Cameras
author: Mia Bevacqua   

Glass mirrors may soon be a thing of the past. Mitsubishi Electric recently revealed a camera system to replace traditional vehicle mirrors. The technology uses deep learning artificial intelligence to detect objects and process data.

Mitsubishi Electric replaces mirrors with AI technology

Millions of people die each year in auto accidents. A few years ago, the United Nations set a goal to cut vehicle-related deaths in half by 2020. Shortly after, the organization approved camera-based mirror replacements to improve vehicle safety.

Mitsubishi Electric responded to the new legislation by developing a mirrorless system of its own. The company says its new technology extends recognition distance to 100 meters with 81 percent accuracy. By comparison, conventional systems only detect objects about 30 meters away with 14 percent accuracy.

To achieve such high levels of precision, Mitsubishi counts on AI-based recognition technology. First, the system uses a computational model to mimic how humans focus and extract an object's information from its surroundings. Then, the object data is fed to the deep learning AI technology, called Maisart. It classifies the objects into categories and displays the results onto a video monitor for the driver. There's no need to look over your shoulder, or struggle to adjust your side-view mirror.

Working out problems

So far, the system uses colored rectangles to designate object types. A car is surrounded by a yellow rectangle, a truck a blue rectangle, etc. Obviously, this design has its limitations and Mitsubishi is looking for a better approach.

There are also a few bugs to work out. Mitsubishi admits the system sometimes struggles in certain situations. Driving in bad weather, traveling at night and navigating winding roads all throw it for a loop.

Japan leads the way with mirrorless cars

Japan, like many other countries, is keen on winning the autonomous vehicle race. It made mirrorless cars legal in 2016 to try to get a leg up. According to Mitsubishi, such cars are expected to appear on Japanese roads by 2019.

Sources: IEE Spectrum and Engadget

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