TomTom RoadDNA promises precision GPS for autonomous driving

Automotive manufacturers all round the world are well on the way to a future where your vehicles can drive for us in certain instances. Before we get to that autonomous driving future, we need GPS navigation capabilities that are highly accurate. TomTom has now announced RoadDNA, a precise localization technology aimed specifically at automated driving.

RoadDNA was designed with vehicle data storage and processing limits in mind and promises highly accurate location information that can be integrated into the on-board systems of a vehicle. The lateral and longitudinal view of the roadway is highly optimized and the RoadDNA data is matched with vehicle sensor data in real-time so that the vehicle knows exactly where it is on the road.

TomTom says that the system is accurate enough that the automated vehicle knows precisely where it is at high speeds and when changes accurate to the roadside. RoadDNA converts a 3D point cloud of road side patterns into a compressed 2D view of the road that the car can understand.

The system is able to do this without losing detail and allows the creation of a unique view of the roadway that is scalable and robust enough to deal with changes on the roadway. That should mean that things like new construction or changes to the road itself won't throw the automated driving capability off. There is no indication of when RoadDNA might find its way into automated cars.