Routing a successful path

April 16, 2015 // By Oliver Jesorsky, Elektrobit
Navigation is a complex task that is becoming more involved as drivers expect more functions. Routing is an important building block for vehicles of the future.

In-vehicle navigation has been around for years, but it’s continuing to evolve as consumers expect more features and functions. Data from navigation systems is one of the building blocks for many new and emerging in-vehicle capabilities while remaining a technology that’s used heavily by many drivers.

Routing functions remain one of the top requirements for drivers, according to Gartner surveys. Though it’s far from an exotic feature, navigation is a necessity for drivers, whether they’re searching for a new location close to home or traveling to a new region.

Navigation has become a common feature, but it’s often not well understood. Determining a route is a complex technical challenge that uses satellites, huge mapping databases, powerful on-vehicle computing systems, real-time information and high resolution display screens.

Fig. 1: Routing functions remain one of the top requirements for drivers, but determining a route is a complex technical challenge

For years, most map data has come from Tom Tom and Navteq, which was acquired by Nokia and renamed HERE in 2012 after being combined with some other Nokia operations. Google has entered the fray, but its database remains more closely tied to phones, so Tom Tom and HERE are expected to remain the market leaders in the auto industry.

Mapping is now being transformed as information on road conditions is being gathered by vehicle systems that feed this information into large databases. Fleet management systems now collect information from their vehicles. Companies that collect information used for real-time traffic data can also use this information to build databases that can be used to augment existing mapping information. For example, maps can be made more accurate when information sent from cars shows a slightly different curve than the path charted by map creators.

Fig. 2: Maps can be made more accurate when information sent from cars shows a slightly different curve than the path charted by map creators

Better maps

These improvements highlight

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