TOMTOM HD Maps for Autonomous Driving Extends to Japan

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【Summary】Navigation technology company TomTom announced today at the Tokyo Motor Show that it is completing the collection of data for its High Definition (HD) Map for Japan. The Netherlands based company is a global leader in navigation, GPS and mapping technologies.

Original   Eric Walz  ·  Oct 27, 2017 5:05 PM PT
author: Eric Walz   

Navigation technology company TomTom announced today at the Tokyo Motor Show that it is completing the collection of data for its High Definition (HD) Map for Japan. The Netherlands based company is a global leader in navigation, GPS and mapping technologies.

The TomTom HD Map will cover over 18,000 kilometers of freeways across Japan. With TomTom's existing coverage in the US and Europe, the total coverage of the company's HD Maps globally is now almost 380,000 km, including  interstates and highways in 48 U.S. states plus Washington DC, and 175,000 kilometers of highways in Western Europe.

Willem Strijbosch, Head of Autonomous Driving at TomTom, said "We are convinced that the TomTom HD Map with RoadDNA is the globally unified HD Map service that OEMs and technology companies need for ADAS (advanced driver assist systems) roll-out and autonomous driving systems. With the addition of the highways in Japan we're building on our single global HD map — a map that works consistently across the road networks. 380,000km of roads for safe autonomous driving."

Determining an Autonomous Vehicle's Location with ‘RoadDNA'

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 —within centimeters. Today's navigation systems use traditional GPS for localization; however, traditional GPS fails to deliver the needed level of accuracy and robustness to support autonomous driving.

The TomTom HD Map with RoadDNA is a revolutionary, highly accurate digital map product that helps autonomous vehicles precisely locate themselves on the road and for path planning, even when traveling at highway speeds. The TomTom HD Map is already available for the majority of major highways in the US and Europe and addresses this localization challenge.

TomTom RoadDNA's patented technology delivers a highly optimized 3D lateral and longitudinal view of the roadway. Using this precise data, a vehicle can correlate RoadDNA data with data obtained by its own sensors. By performing this correlation in real-time, the vehicle's precise location on a road can be determined, even while travelling at high speeds. By converting a 3D point cloud of roadside patterns into a compressed, 2D view of the roadway, RoadDNA is a solution that can be used in-vehicle, with limited processing requirements.

Partnership With Baidu

In July of 2017, TomTom announced a partnership with Baidu to collaborate on the creation of high definition maps for China. Their collaboration on the development of a global HD map service combines TomTom and Baidu's expertise in HD map-making and artificial intelligence (AI). Baidu will leverage TomTom's Real-Time Map Platform to improve HD map-related technologies utilized in China.

The majority of automotive OEMs are already evaluating TomTom's HD Map with RoadDNA technology for their autonomous vehicle projects.

TomTom Traffic in Japan

Also announced today is the introduction of TomTom Traffic in Japan. This extends the service's reach to 69 countries with a combined population of more than five billion people. TomTom Traffic covers secondary and surface roads, broad coverage, low latency and high GPS probe density. The service offers up-to-date travel information such as traffic jams, and also uses self-generated incident messages for road closures, roadworks and accidents.

Ralf-Peter Schäfer, VP, TomTom Traffic, said "Traffic congestion remains a major problem for many countries around the world – particularly in larger metropolitan areas such as in Japan. With rapid developments in Autonomous Driving and an increased focus on smarter cities, accurate and fresh traffic information is playing an increasingly important role."

TomTom is increasingly providing Lane-Level Traffic, a feature that is critical to autonomous driving. Already able to detect traffic on different lanes at junctions, TomTom Traffic can now also differentiate between traffic flow on High Occupancy Vehicles (HOV) lanes and regular lanes.


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