AMSTERDAM–(BUSINESS WIRE)– The development of automated driving is a puzzle with many pieces. Together with the Dutch map and traffic information provider TomTom (TOM2), Bosch is getting closer to the complete picture. The two companies have agreed to collaborate in the area of maps for highly automated driving. Under this agreement, TomTom is designing the necessary maps, while Bosch, on the basis of its systems engineering work, is defining the specifications these maps have to meet. At this moment, the maps are already being used in the automated vehicles Bosch is testing on certain public roads in Germany (A81) and in the United States (I280). Commenting on the importance of this venture, the Bosch board of management member Dr. Dirk Hoheisel says: “Only with high precision maps will automated driving on freeways be possible from 2020.” And Jan Maarten de Vries, Vice President Automotive at TomTom, adds: “By the end of 2015, we want to have new high-precision maps for automated driving for all freeways and freeway-like roads in Germany.” Road coverage will subsequently be extended to the rest of Europe and North America.
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Bosch and TomTom partner on innovative mapping technology for automated driving (Photo: Business Wire)
Several map layers, significantly increased accuracy
Maps for highly automated driving and the maps used in current navigation systems differ primarily in two respects. First, accuracy is significantly higher – down to decimeter precision. Second, the map material for highly automated driving consists of multiple layers. The traditional base navigation layer is used to calculate routes from A to B, including the sequence of roads to be driven. The localization layer uses a novel positioning concept providing highly accurate map data, which the automated vehicle uses to accurately calculate its position within a lane. To do this, the vehicle compares its sensed environment with the corresponding information in the localization layer. In this way, the vehicle can accurately define its position relative to the road and its surroundings. On top of the localization layer, the planning layer contains not only attributes such as lane divider types, traffic signs, speed limits, etc., but also 3D information about road geometry, including curves and slopes. With the help of this very detailed lane information, the automated vehicle can decide things such as when and how to change lane.
In highly automated driving, safety and comfort depend crucially on map material that is up to date. For example, up-to-the-minute speed-limit information has to be available instantly. Only then can vehicles select the best proactive driving strategy. In this regard, Bosch and TomTom rely on several elements and services to keep the map data up to date: the TomTom mapping fleet will continue to be regularly on the road, accurately mapping new roads and routes. And to register recent changes on the roads, such as changed lane configurations or new traffic signs, TomTom and Bosch plan to use feedback from fleets of vehicles equipped with the necessary sensors. Information about changed road conditions captured this way will be transferred to a server, verified, and entered in the digital map database. The updated map will then be fed back to the highly automated driving vehicle, enabling it to see effectively beyond its sensors.
Extension of existing, successful partnership
For Bosch and TomTom, this collaboration in the area of maps for highly automated driving is an extension of an already existing, successful partnership. For Bosch’s connected horizon, TomTom also provides dynamic map information via their real-time service backend – albeit without any localization layer. In this way, the connected horizon makes it possible to predict the route ahead and adapt driving strategy accordingly. This solution was demonstrated for the first time in 2014, at the IAA Commercial Vehicles trade show in Hanover. The system recognizes potential black spots behind hills, or the start of a traffic jam, at an early stage, and automatically reduces the speed of the vehicle well in time. This considerably reduces the risk of rear-end collisions. In addition, smoother driving behavior means more comfort for the driver and improved fuel efficiency for the vehicle.
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At TomTom (TOM2) our mission is to make technology so easy to use, that everyone can achieve more.
We created easy to use navigation devices, helping millions of people to get where they want to be. Today, we continue to simplify the complex, making technology more accessible for everyone.
We have four customer facing business units: Consumer, Telematics, Automotive and Licensing.
We make easy to use navigation devices, sport watches and action cameras for consumers. We enable businesses with vehicles to more easily manage and improve fleet efficiency whilst increasing overall business performance with our Telematics solutions. We also offer a world leading real-time map platform that is powering innovative location based services and helping to make automated driving a reality for the automotive industry.
Founded in 1991 and headquartered in Amsterdam, we have 4,200 employees worldwide and sell our products in over 46 countries.
About Robert Bosch GmbH
Mobility Solutions is the largest Bosch Group business sector. In 2014, its sales came to 33.3 billion euros, or 68 percent of total group sales. This makes the Bosch Group one of the leading automotive suppliers. The Mobility Solutions business sector combines the group’s
expertise in three mobility domains – automation, electrification, and connectivity – and offers its customers integrated mobility solutions. Its main areas of activity are injection technology and powertrain peripherals for internal-combustion engines, diverse solutions for powertrain electrification, vehicle safety systems, driver-assistance and automated functions, technology for user-friendly infotainment as well as car-to-car and Car2X communication, repair-shop concepts, and technology and services for the automotive aftermarket. Bosch has been responsible for important automotive innovations, such as electronic engine management, the ESP
anti-skid system, and common-rail diesel technology.
The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. It employs roughly 360,000 associates worldwide (as per April 1, 2015). The company generated sales of
49 billion euros in 2014.* Its operations are divided into four business sectors: Mobility
Solutions, Industrial Technology, Consumer Goods, and Energy and Building Technology.
The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its roughly 440 subsidiary and
regional companies in some 60 countries. Including its sales and service partners, Bosch is represented in roughly 150 countries. This worldwide development, manufacturing, and sales network is the foundation for further growth. In 2014, Bosch applied for some 4,600 patents worldwide. The Bosch Group’s strategic objective is to create solutions for a connected life. Bosch improves quality of life worldwide with products and services that are innovative and spark enthusiasm. In short, Bosch creates technology that is “Invented for life.”
*The sales figure disclosed for 2014 does not include the former joint ventures BSH Bosch und Siemens Hausgeräte GmbH (now BSH Hausgeräte GmbH) and ZF Lenksysteme GmbH (now Robert Bosch Automotive Steering GmbH), which have since been taken over completely.
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