The BMW Group and Daimler will each make HERE HD Live Map an integral part of their future highly automated and autonomous vehicles (SAE levels 3-5). Both companies, which are some of the co-owners of HERE, already use maps from HERE in their current vehicles.
Extremely precise digital maps are a key component for advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and autonomous driving. The machine-readable, cloud-based HD Live Map allows an automated vehicle effectively to see around corners and consists of multiple layers of information essential for the automated vehicle to know where exactly it is, what lies ahead and what it should do in various scenarios.
The HERE HD Live Map is a cloud-based service comprising various tiled layers that are highly accurate and continuously updated through multiple data sources. The layers are logically structured into the Road Model, the HD Lane Model, and the HD Localization Model.
The base map—the foundation of HERE HD Live Map—is captured using HERE True vehicles with LiDAR. The vehicles collect 28TB of data daily.
Using crowdsourced vehicle sensor data, HERE collects drive paths, lane markings, road edges, road signs, pavement markings and more. These are combined with satellite imagery.
HERE’s machine learning works with the different observations of the same roadside object to determine its precise location. The feature is then published to the Live Map.
The HERE HD Live Map has been in production for several years and has mapped more than half a million kilometers of roadways to sub-meter accuracy. That number will eclipse one million across North America and Europe in 2018. The elements of the HERE HD Live Map include lane configurations, lane markings, centerlines, road shoulders, speed limits, and a full layer of roadside objects that give the vehicle its precise awareness of the road.
HERE has created HD Live Map to be “self-healing”—it can reflect dynamic changes in the road environment and update itself accordingly in near real-time. This enables vehicles to adjust proactively to changing road conditions—for example, switching lanes and adjusting speed ahead of time in the case of an upcoming lane closure.
Vehicle sensor data is the most crucial element for an HD map to self-heal because of its quality, and the sheer volume of vehicles on the road that can detect and validate change. HERE is already receiving rich vehicle sensor data from multiple automakers, including Daimler, to produce near real-time map updates. With passenger safety top of mind, HERE HD Live Map constantly publishes changes to the map through an innovative content validation process, where multiple vehicle sensors act as a “closed loop” to detect any deviations from the published data.
Maps with centimeter precision updating themselves in near real-time, is one key element for autonomous driving. With the new HD Live Map and the rich, continuously growing information it provides we are taking a big step on the way towards autonomous driving.—Ola Källenius, Member of the Board of Management for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development