Auto Electronics

STMicro and NAVTEQ combine road map and position data for driver safety

STMicroelectronics and NAVTEQ are collaborating on development of a Map and Positioning Engine (MPE) that combines a digital road map with positioning data for advanced driver assistance applications such as curve over-speed warning or adaptive headlight control. It’s intended to enhance driver safety and convenience even when a driver navigation system is not resident.

Knowing the distance to an upcoming curve and the curve’s radius, the ST engine with a NAVTEQ MPE map can enable applications that calculate a maximum speed to safely negotiate the curve and warn the driver visually, acoustically, or haptically – or even reduce the speed automatically, if the vehicle’s speed exceeds this limit.

The MPE can also enable applications that generate a warning message or prevent acceleration by the adaptive cruise control when the vehicle is in a freeway exit lane, in a speed-limited urban area, or approaching traffic lights over the next hill.

Other potential applications include adaptive headlight control and optimized slope driving. For example, when the vehicle is approaching a curve, the headlights can be turned exactly into the direction the vehicle will go, even before the curve is reached. The slope information can be coupled with the vehicle's powertrain to recognize a particular hill and help the driver choose the most efficient acceleration or gear shift for fuel economy and smooth driving.

Key elements of the MPE are ST’s GPS technology and the NAVTEQ MPE map containing ADAS (advanced driver assistance systems) road geometry, topology, and additional attributes, such as the number of lanes, or speed limits.

The current vehicle position is matched to upcoming road segments in the map and NAVTEQ’s patented Electronic Horizon technology interprets attributes on the road ahead to deliver essential predictive road information that could warn or aid the driver of a potentially dangerous situation.

The MPE can be implemented in a module about the size of a credit card that would operate on the vehicle’s CAN bus or be embedded in another sensor or electronic control unit in the car. Engineers could deploy ADAS applications independent of standard vehicle navigation systems.

“ST has done a masterful job of implementing our Map and Positioning Engine and realizing our vision of bringing the critical efficiency, safety and convenience features to all vehicles,” said Bob Denaro, NAVTEQ vice president of ADAS.

“The ability to provide predictive road information and help both the driver and vehicle better react to current conditions represents a quantum leap in thinking about digital maps and GPS positioning in the car,” said Kevin Gagnon, vice president of STMicroelectronics’ Automotive Business Unit.

The Map and Positioning Engine prototype modules are available from ST.
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