Intelligent Speed Assistance will kickstart a new era for automotive digital maps
LONDON, Aug. 4, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Over 47 million vehicles in circulation by 2027 will rely on digital maps to underpin active safety or autonomous driving applications, according to ABI Research, a global technology intelligence firm. Applications such as lane centering, localization, and location-enriched sensor fusion will see automotive digital maps expand out of the infotainment domain, creating a new, sustained market opportunity for digital map suppliers in the automotive industry.
"The uptake of digital maps outside of navigation and route guidance has been limited to date, so the European ISA mandate is an important catalyst for the location intelligence industry," says James Hodgson, Smart Mobility & Automotive Principal Analyst at ABI Research "Future maps for autonomous vehicles will be quite different from legacy maps, in terms of their attribution, accuracy, and time to reflect reality requirements. Building and maintaining these maps will require a radically different curation approach, defined by crowdsourcing and automation of the pipeline."
While road sign recognition systems that can read the content of speed signs have been widely adopted for many years, these camera-only systems exhibit certain weaknesses, especially in poor lighting or weather scenarios. Further, approximately 60% of European speed restrictions are implied, with no visible signage for even the most robust perception systems. According to Hodgson, "The need for maps in a resilient Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA) system has blindsided some OEMs, particularly the requirement to maintain the maps that underpin the system to ensure accurate identification of the local speed restriction throughout the long lifetime of the vehicle."
The key role of digital maps across the full spectrum of autonomous vehicle applications has become clear. In early 2022, both Ford and Volkswagen announced that they would leverage Mobileye's Roadbook map product to augment SAE "Level 2+" centering applications, while Mercedes-Benz has selected HERE's HD Live Map to underpin their pioneering SAE L3 Drive Pilot. Waymo builds HD digital maps of a Zone before deploying their L4 / Robotaxi Waymo Driver platform.
Meeting the time to reflect reality requirements of autonomous vehicle maps will mandate the use of crowdsourcing, leveraging the experience of sensor-equipped vehicles in the field to build and maintain the map. To enable this user-generated mapping cycle, many developers of autonomous vehicle software and services have also built mapping platforms. The Mobileye REM platform is capable of ingesting sensor data from models equipped with certain EyeQ ADAS chipsets, while NVIDIA's MapStream allows for vehicles featuring their autonomous vehicle platform to update their map, which has recently been bolstered by the acquisition of DeepMap.
"ISA maps will give automakers and map suppliers their first taste of building and maintaining this new breed of automotive maps," Hodgson concludes. "It is key that OEMs do not regard ISA maps as a one-off nuisance, but as the beginning of a new era of location-enriched mobility."
These findings are from ABI Research's Automotive Maps for Intelligent Speed Assistance, ADAS, and Autonomous Driving application analysis report. This report is part of the company's Smart Mobility and Automotive research service, which includes research, data, and ABI Insights. Based on extensive primary interviews, Application Analysis reports present in-depth analysis on key market trends and factors for a specific technology.
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SOURCE ABI Research