TomTom (TOM2) and Bosch today announced the creation of an HD map with integrated Radar Road Signature layer for the localisation of vehicles in autonomous driving. The Radar Road Signature layer will allow automated vehicles to determine their exact location on a road down to a few centimeters, working in conjunction with the TomTom HD Map.
Bosch Radar Tech
Bosch and TomTom have been working intensively on the radar map and its integration into the high-resolution overall map since the beginning of their collaboration in July 2015.
Bosch is a global market leader in the field of radar sensors with 77-gigahertz technology and detection ranges of up to 250 meters. By comparison, video sensors only have a detection range of 50 meters.
The main challenge was finding a way to adapt existing radar sensors for this task. When used in a driver assistance system such as automatic emergency braking systems or adaptive cruise control (ACC), the sensors detect moving objects.
But in order to generate the radar signature map, they also need to be able to detect static objects, which meant that existing radar sensors had to be modified.
These insights from its collaboration with TomTom were incorporated into the development process at Bosch. The next generation of Bosch radar sensors will be able to provide the data required for the radar map.
Radar Road Signature
The advantage of the Bosch Radar Road Signature map is its robustness: unlike maps that rely exclusively on video data for vehicle localisation, the Radar Road Signature can be used and generated reliably at night and in conditions of poor visibility. The Bosch Radar Road Signature only needs to transmit five kilobytes of data to a cloud per kilometre, which is half the bandwidth necessary for video-based mapping.
Harold Goddijn, CEO of TomTom, said: “We’ve been working hard to create the HD Map needed for autonomous driving, including localisation attributes such as TomTom’s RoadDNA. It’s exciting to be launching this additional localisation layer with Bosch in the form of the Radar Road Signature – that greatly increases the robustness of localisation under all circumstances.”
“The Radar Road Signature is a milestone on the path towards automated driving. It will enable automated vehicles to reliably determine their location at all times,” says Bosch board of management member, Dr. Dirk Hoheisel.
Bosch wants to launch the Radar Road Signature onto the market in Europe and the U.S. by 2020 at the latest.