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High-definition maps technology for safer automated driving

Automated driving (AD) is expected to help reduce vehicle accidents. However, AD adoption must be gradual, as people need to start trusting self-driving vehicles. For that to happen, further innovation is needed to make AD as safe as possible. Currently, one of the biggest AD challenges is defining when and where AD can be activated safely. RoadCheck is a pioneering service which addresses just that.

RoadCheck enables vehicles manufacturers to leverage high-definition (HD) digital maps to define where vehicles can safely activate automated driving (AD) features based on their capabilities. Areas where the AD can correctly function are defined as the operation design domain (ODD).

Currently, vehicles manufacturers need to limit ODD at the production stage and don’t have the possibility to consider digital map (updates) to improve the AD functionality. RoadCheck is pre-integrated with leading HD map data and a map streaming service, making it the only proven solution of its kind. Such unique pre-integration allows for shorter development timelines.

For example, manufacturers can restrict AD to specific areas that are deemed safe, such as controlled access highways. This can be set through the RoadCheck web application. Next, the RoadCheck data is streamed with HD maps to the vehicle so the AD system knows where it can be safely activated. By making the AD systems safer in this way, RoadCheck improves road safety for all. It also allows for continuous evaluation of AD performance and can expand the ODD as it learns from anonymised end-user behaviour.

In the future, RoadCheck could be extended to functionality beyond automated driving, such as more common driver assistance functions beyond highways. An industry-first innovation, RoadCheck is already available in the European Union and United States, and will be rolled out to the first cars in late 2021.