Exploring Local
Mike Dobson of TeleMapics on Local Search and All Things Geospatial


October 12th, 2008 by MDob

On October 2, 2008, NAVTEQ announced its strategy for Map-Enhanced Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS). The press release mentioned a new Map and Positioning Engine (MPE) strategy that would be available to all cars, including those without a navigation system or access to a navigation map database. NAVTEQ’s strategy appears to cover both the development of an ADAS compliant map database and the optimal deployment hardware and software to enable a functional solution supportive of various ADAS applications. Designed to be embedded in the Controller Area Network of vehicles (the CAN bus) NAVTEQ’s MPE appears to be one of the first commercial implementations of the Adasis Forum’s 2.0 or Adasis Light standard (see this document for a concise review of the new standard).

Map-based ADAS applications (the map as a primary sensor) include curve speed warning and predictive powertrain control (fuel economy) among other uses. While not considered the primary sensor in all ADAS applications, maps could add important secondary benefits to headlight tracking, adaptive cruise control, lane change assistance and collision avoidance.

Three items in the NAVTEQ announcement caught my eye. The first was that the MPE map mentioned by Navteq is described as a subset of the NAVTEQ map that contains ADAS Geometry and precise ADAS attributes. Before this, there has been discussion in ADAS circles over whether the map-enabled and map-assisted functions would derive from the navigation database, a separate database that served only to support ADAS applications, or could both databases reside in the same vehicle?

The second item was the MPE also includes the NAVTEQ Electronic Horizon™, which is based on NAVTEQ’s patented Electronic Horizon algorithms. The electronic horizon is used to select the most probable path or the road ahead and uses these data to calculate curve speed warning and other ADAS functionalities. I had thought that NAVTEQ was moving away from software and hardware and found this aspect of the development quite interesting.

One other issue charged its way out of the release, at least for me, was that here was an example of a map database whose critical data could not be collected through User Generated Content. Very specific horizontal and vertical accuracies are required for use in ADAS applications and it is unlikely, without significant new developments in positioning technology, that data precise enough to meet the requirements of these solutions could provided by UGC. Finally, since ADAS applications are safety and control functionalities, it is unlikely that any developer of ADAS map databases would solicit direct user input to establish or update these critical safety-related data.

I was so interested in various aspects of the press release that I called NAVTEQ Public Relations and asked to put into contact with Bob Denaro, NAVTEQ’s Vice President of ADAS. Bob was gracious with his time and we had an interesting conversation, at least from my perspective. I will share it with you in my next blog – so you might want to take a look at the references above before then.

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Posted in ADAS, Mapping, Navteq, routing and navigation, User Generated Content

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