We hear a lot of hype about autonomous cars, but it isn’t often that we hear about what goes on behind the scenes. I’m specifically talking about how these self-driving cars happen to know where they are going, the local traffic laws, road signs, and dividing lines. Your common GPS unit can show you a reasonably accurate map of the road, but very few can break it down into an accurate display of lanes, and none – that I’m aware of – display actual traffic signs. Up until this point, map data for autonomous vehicles is provided by other vehicles that are equipped with laser scanners. Data collected eventually has information like dividing lines and road signs manually inserted. This method is effective, but is expensive, subjected to errors, and isn’t updated frequently. Toyota is about the change the game, however, with a new system that will offer higher precision and won’t require as much manual editing.