Bosch, TomTom Collaborate for World’s First Radar-Based Map

Bosch, TomTom Collaborate for World’s First Radar-Based Map

It’s a breakthrough in the development of high-resolution maps for automated driving.

By using what Bosch calls “radar road signature,” self-driving cars can use the map to determine their exact location in a lane, down to a few centimeters. According to Bosch, the huge advantage of the technology is its robustness. Unlike maps that rely exclusively on video data for vehicle localization, Bosch’s radar road signature can also work reliably at night and in conditions of poor visibility. Another advantage, the company says, is that radar road signature only transmits five kilobyte of data to the cloud per kilometer, which is half of the data compared to using a video map.

Bosch expects that by 2020 at the latest, the first vehicles will provide data for the technology in Europe and the U.S.

SEE ALSO: Mercedes Teams with Bosch to Develop Self-Driving Taxis

Bosch and TomTom have been working together since 2015, integrating radar road signature into TomTom’s high-resolution overall map. Bosch says its radar systems are capable of detecting up to 250 meters, compared to video capture that has a maximum range of 150 meters. Cars outfitted with the next-generation radar systems will contribute to a crowdsourced map layer, and the company expects to need a million of those vehicles on the road to keep its reference localization layer current.

“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.