Mitsubishi Electric and Here Technologies have piloted a system enabling vehicles to automatically warn others about upcoming road hazards with lane-level precision.

At the end of March, the two companies  completed field tests of the technology, known as Lane Hazard Warning, in California. This followed a successful trial in Ibaraki Prefecture in Japan last winter.

The companies now intend to make the technology available broadly to automakers to test.

Lane Hazard Warning enables an event detected by a vehicle’s sensors; such as a disabled or slow car, a slippery road, debris or a pothole, to be precisely localised to a specific lane and this information to be transmitted in real-time via the cloud to other vehicles approaching the same area.

“When something unusual happens on the road ahead drivers often have very little time to react and that can put them and their passengers at risk,” said Mitsubishi Electric Automotive Equipment executive officer and Group president, Hiroshi Onishi.

“Together with Here Technologies, we’ve developed a new system designed to give drivers a few valuable extra seconds or minutes to prepare for potential danger on the road ahead, such as by switching lanes or simply driving with greater caution.”

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Lane Hazard Warning uses a vehicle’s sensors together with HD Locator, Mitsubishi Electric’s centimetre-level positioning technology and the Here Open Location Platform, the collaborative big location data platform.

As part of their collaboration, the companies are also evaluating the application of the technology in automated updates of maps for automated vehicles using the cloud as well as in a service which alerts cities and road maintenance authorities to road surface degradation.