Autonomous driving represents the greatest disruption in mobility since the invention of the car. It will not only radically transform the way we travel, but also boost the safety, comfort and efficiency of vehicles to a level beyond imagination.
To power this transformation, autonomous vehicles require maps that are significantly different from the maps that are used in today’s navigation systems. In order to operate safely, efficiently and in a comfortable way for passengers, autonomous vehicles need high-definition maps that allow for centimeter-level accuracy. HD maps also need to be updated in real-time, to reflect changes such as lane closures, traffic jams, and updated speed limits.
Enabled by its real-time map infrastructure, TomTom HD Map provides a highly accurate and realistic representation of the roadway profile, including key elements such as 3D geometry, lane markings and road furniture. TomTom HD Map effectively allows an autonomous vehicle to accurately position itself on the road, and to “see” beyond its sensors, extending the range of view for the vehicle while enabling smoother, safer and more efficient driving scenarios. TomTom’s HD Map is not limited to autonomous vehicles, but can also be leveraged to fulfil a broad range of ADAS applications such as predictive powertrain control, eco-routing and curve speed warnings.
The first generation of the TomTom HD Map focuses on highway driving; support for other environments, both urban and rural, will follow as autonomous driving evolves.
A key challenge of autonomous driving is determining the exact location of an autonomous vehicle on the road. In order to operate safely and efficiently, it is key for an autonomous vehicle to be able to locate itself on a specific lane with extreme accuracy. Today’s navigation systems use traditional GPS for localisation; however, traditional GPS fails to deliver the needed level of accuracy and robustness to enable autonomous driving.
To address this challenge, TomTom has developed RoadDNA, an innovative product that enables accurate and robust positioning and localisation for autonomous vehicles. TomTom’s patented RoadDNA technology delivers a highly optimised, 3D lateral and longitudinal view of the roadway. With this, a vehicle can correlate RoadDNA data with data obtained by its own sensors. By doing this correlation in real time, TomTom RoadDNA precisely locates a vehicle on the road, even while traveling at high speeds.
By converting a 3D point cloud of roadside patterns into a compressed, 2D view of the roadway, TomTom RoadDNA delivers a solution that can be used in-vehicle with limited processing requirements. Without losing roadway detail, TomTom RoadDNA follows a feature-agnostic approach which is robust and scalable. This technique eliminates the complexity of identifying each single roadway object, but rather creates a unique pattern of the roadway environment.
TomTom RoadDNA, combined with the TomTom HD Map, represents an accurate and robust solution to provide real-time information about a vehicle’s precise location on a map.