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TomTom and VW Group Research to partner on developing new NDS-based digital map for highly automated driving systems

TomTom and Volkswagen Group Research have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to join forces for the development of Highly Automated Driving (HAD) systems. The goal of this research co-operation is to develop jointly the digital map that is essential for automated driving.

The two partners bundle their competencies by combining TomTom’s expertise in map content and map-making with Volkswagen’s know-how about the car as well as automated driving.

The map that today is used for navigation—including geometry, street names, and addressing—is not sufficient for the future needs of automated driving. The car’s computer will require much more accurate and up-to-date information about its location and environment than is provided today. This includes, for example, more detailed information on lane markings and traffic lights.

TomTom and Volkswagen Research are working on a concept based on the Navigation Data Standard (NDS) to deliver scalable and cost effective automated driving systems that do not require expensive hardware.

In today’s navigation systems the application software and the map data are combined. The NDS—a physical storage format for readily compiled navigation maps—separates data from from application; a separation of the two creates the desired flexibility between NDS compliant systems.

Compatibility and interoperability for the exchange of map data between NDS compliant systems is the key objective of the NDS format. As a world-wide map standard for automotive grade use, NDS is also aiming at up-to-date maps, flexible map composition, and cloud integration.


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