Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Making digital maps more current and accurate

02.01.2009
European researchers have designed an innovative new system to help keep motorists on the right track by constantly updating their digital maps and fixing anomalies and errors. Now the partners are mapping the best route to market.

The ‘oddly enough’ sections of newspapers regularly feature amusing stories of GPS mayhem. For instance, one lorry driver in Poland had such confidence in his positioning device that he ignored several signs warning that a road had been closed to make way for an artificial reservoir and drove straight into the lake!

In addition to providing a cautionary tale about investing too much faith in technology, this amusing anecdote highlights a more mundane and daily challenge: how to reflect the constantly shifting topography of Europe’s road network.

A large number of digital maps used by onboard GPS navigation systems are stored on DVDs or hard disks, with periodic updates only available on replacement disks. In addition, advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) – such as adaptive cruise control (ACC) and lane-keeping systems (LKS) – are beginning to make more extensive use of digital maps. Given the safety dimension of ADAS applications, it is crucial that digital maps are highly accurate.

Some interactive solutions have made it to market. One example is the EU-backed ActMAP project which developed mechanisms for online, incremental updates of digital map databases using wireless technology. The system helps to shorten the time span between updates significantly. Nevertheless, there is still room for improvement in terms of detecting map errors, changes in the real world, or monitoring highly dynamic events like local warnings automatically. Addressing these ever-changing realities requires a radical rethink of the applied methodology.

Ground-level input

The assumption behind ActMAP and other systems is that the supplier is responsible for all updates. However, this approach overlooks a valuable source of information: the motorists who use the navigation systems themselves. If anomalies found by road users could be automatically sent to the supplier, this could be used as a valuable supplementary source of information to iron out irregularities in maps and beam them back to the users.

This bottom-up approach is the basic premise of FeedMAP, which has been designed to work in a loop with ActMAP. This means that, when the reality on the ground does not correspond with the digital map in the system, these so-called map deviations are automatically compiled into a map deviation report which is picked up by roadside sensors and relayed back to the supplier. The driver can also report anomalies (s)he encounters manually.

“Of course, FeedMAP will obviously not act as an unconditional map update generator. The last verification will always remain to be done by the map centres using their other sources of information,” notes Maxime Flament of ERTICO – ITS Europe, a multi-stakeholder organisation pursuing the development and deployment of intelligent transport systems and services.

FeedMAP’s versatility and potential for fine-tuning means that it not only can help keep maps up to date, but it can also be used in numerous ADAS applications, including adaptive speed recommendations which advise drivers about speed limits on the road ahead, and speed deviation detection which updates recommended speeds based on feedback from actual driver behaviour.

FeedMAP can also be integrated into fuel-saving applications, which will be good for the environment and good for motorists’ wallets as well.

Mapping the road to market

The system has been extensively tested and FeedMAP was found to be both technically and commercially feasible.

“Based on already existing business models, the FeedMAP concept can be brought to market,” concludes Bengt Thomas of NAVIGON, a partner in the project. “The clear benefit for map suppliers is the availability of a constant stream of deviation reports to improve their map quality. As the improvements will be shared with all customers, it will result, in the longer run, in better map products for the whole market.”

The FeedMAP partners considered three possible business models. The most promising one, which they believe is worth pursuing, focuses on bundling FeedMAP with the other services already offered by car manufacturers, while the actual management of the data and updates would be carried out by so-called FeedMAP service centres.

“Automotive manufacturers already offer connected services in their vehicles, therefore the basic communication infrastructure is available for sending and receiving map data,” says Jan Loewenau of BMW Research and Technology.

FeedMAP partners – including Daimler, BMW, Volvo Trucks and FIAT’s research centre – are so positive about the results of the project that they have decided to run with it by integrating it into the ActMAP system. “The complete FeedMAP/ActMAP loop of map data is the next cornerstone for map-based applications, such as navigation and ADAS safety,” concludes Flament.

FeedMAP was funded by the ICT strand of the EU’s Sixth Framework Programme for research.

Christian Nielsen | alfa
Further information:
http://cordis.europa.eu/ictresults
http://cordis.europa.eu/ictresults/index.cfm/section/news/tpl/article/BrowsingType/Features/ID/90334

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Researchers illuminate the path to a new era of microelectronics
23.04.2018 | Boston University College of Engineering

nachricht Researchers achieve HD video streaming at 10,000 times lower power
20.04.2018 | University of Washington

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Molecules Brilliantly Illuminated

Physicists at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics, which is jointly run by Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, have developed a high-power laser system that generates ultrashort pulses of light covering a large share of the mid-infrared spectrum. The researchers envisage a wide range of applications for the technology – in the early diagnosis of cancer, for instance.

Molecules are the building blocks of life. Like all other organisms, we are made of them. They control our biorhythm, and they can also reflect our state of...

Im Focus: Spider silk key to new bone-fixing composite

University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.

Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.

Im Focus: Writing and deleting magnets with lasers

Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.

Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...

Im Focus: Gamma-ray flashes from plasma filaments

Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.

The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...

Im Focus: Basel researchers succeed in cultivating cartilage from stem cells

Stable joint cartilage can be produced from adult stem cells originating from bone marrow. This is made possible by inducing specific molecular processes occurring during embryonic cartilage formation, as researchers from the University and University Hospital of Basel report in the scientific journal PNAS.

Certain mesenchymal stem/stromal cells from the bone marrow of adults are considered extremely promising for skeletal tissue regeneration. These adult stem...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

IWOLIA: A conference bringing together German Industrie 4.0 and French Industrie du Futur

09.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Structured light and nanomaterials open new ways to tailor light at the nanoscale

23.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

On the shape of the 'petal' for the dissipation curve

23.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Clean and Efficient – Fraunhofer ISE Presents Hydrogen Technologies at the HANNOVER MESSE 2018

23.04.2018 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>