Kevin Smith on revolutionizing navigation systems: Aisin’s strategic collaboration with Toyota explored

In a recent interview, Kevin Smith, the Senior Manager of the Business Design Department of the Connected & Sharing Solutions Division at Aisin Technical Center of America Inc., explains the development of innovative navigation features in collaboration with Toyota.

In a recent interview, Kevin Smith, the Senior Manager of the Business Design Department of the Connected & Sharing Solutions Division at Aisin Technical Center of America Inc., explains the development of innovative navigation features in collaboration with Toyota. The features, such as “Send to Phone” and “Passenger Occupancy Auto-Detection,” have set a new benchmark in the industry.

Aisin’s collaboration with Toyota has resulted in innovative navigation systems. Can you share more about the process of developing these features, such as “Send to Phone” and “Passenger Occupancy Auto-Detection”?

Aisin’s Connected & Sharing Solutions Division (CSS) was involved in the specification and design of these features in the navigation system as related to the:

  • Ability to send ETA info based on current, active route to destination from navigation system to desired contact driver’s contact list on cell phone via SMS.
  • Ability to incorporate the HOV lane as part of suggested navigation route based on the number of occupants in the vehicle.

How does the integration of live traffic data and map data in your cloud-based navigation systems enhance the driving experience for Toyota and Lexus drivers?

That’s an excellent question. With the cloud-based system we no longer have to struggle to get the map updates to end-users and the maps are always up-to-date. In addition, we can leverage the live traffic information on top of the latest maps to assist users in quickly and safely reaching their destination, avoiding areas of congestion.

This means that by using a combination of the latest map and traffic information, and leveraging cloud resources for route calculation, our software can provide multiple types of routes, (such as the fastest route) to enhance the user’s experience. Finally, using a cloud-based system allows AISIN to identify issues or enhancements and fix them quickly rather than waiting for the next map update to solve any unforeseen issues or new enhancements to the user’s experience.

Describe the most significant challenges and triumphs you faced while transitioning from in-vehicle data storage to a fully integrated, cloud-based navigation system.

Moving from our previous vehicle-based and hybrid navigation systems to an entirely cloud-based system has had its unique challenges. For instance, minimizing the mobile data communication usage for the customer while ensuring enough map data is downloaded from around the vehicle’s current position for our software to navigate them to their destination was an issue of utmost importance to us and our partners at Toyota. In addition, ensuring that we can still do local onboard routing in areas without connectivity like underground parking garages or even in areas where there is no cell phone coverage was a unique challenge.

How does Aisin’s “Location-Based Services (LBS) Platform” contribute to the new-generation Toyota Audio Multimedia or Lexus Interface systems? Can you explain the technology behind this?

Our Location-Based Services Platform stands at the center of all our activities for the CSS Division. While I cannot disclose specifics about how our OEM partners use our LBS SDK to develop their next generation navigation systems, I can share that through the LBS platform Aisin has started to create and provide what we call “High Accuracy Traffic” based on vehicle driving data. Using this High Accuracy Traffic data, we can create an accurate trip plan. In the future, we hope this type of content can evolve into a broader usage such as controlling traffic flow or assist in alleviating traffic congestion.

How does Aisin plan to cater to the aftermarket segment with the advent of technologies like autonomous driving and cloud-based navigation systems?

Aisin does not currently offer a stand-alone navigation product to the aftermarket. At AISIN, we focus on leveraging our LBS SDK to provide solutions that meet the needs of our OEM partners. This means that since the end product is an OEM product, all decisions to offer the product in the aftermarket are left to them – the customers. We are happy to support any OEM that wants to offer their experience to the aftermarket segment utilizing the Aisin LBS SDK.


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