Bosch, TomTom: HD Map Uses Radar Signals to Let Autonomous Vehicles Know Where They Are

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TomTom and Bosch said they have created an HD map that enables autonomous vehicles “to reliably determine their location at all times.”

The map’s integrated Radar Road Signature layer allows self-driving vehicles to determine their exact location on a road within a few centimeters, according to the companies.

“The advantage of the Bosch Radar Road Signature map is its robustness: Unlike maps that rely exclusively on video data for vehicle localization, the Radar Road Signature can be used and generated reliably at night and in conditions of poor visibility,” the companies said in a news release. “The Bosch Radar Road Signature only needs to transmit five kilobytes of data to a cloud per kilometer, which is half the bandwidth necessary for video-based mapping.”

The companies made the announcement at TU-Automotive Detroit 2017, which bills itself as the world’s biggest conference for connected and autonomous cars.

“We’ve been working hard to create the HD map needed for autonomous driving, including localization attributes such as TomTom’s RoadDNA,” said Harold Goddijn, CEO of TomTom. “It’s exciting to be launching this additional localization layer with Bosch in the form of the Radar Road Signature – that greatly increases the robustness of localization under all circumstances.”

Bosch Board of Management member Dirk Hoheisel called the HD map “a milestone on the path toward automated driving.”

Bosch said it aims to launch the Radar Road Signature in Europe and the United States by 2020 at the latest.

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