GSA seeks input on digital maps, deadline Jan. 27

January 22, 2019  - By
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News from the European GNSS Agency

The European GNSS Agency (GSA) is organizing a public consultation on the Integrity & Reliability of Digital Maps for Connected and Automated Driving, in connection with the recently published Commission Communication on Connected and Automated Mobility.

This communication addresses the need to investigate the integrity and reliability of digital maps in order to facilitate the deployment of fully automated and connected vehicles.

Image: GSA

Image: GSA

Digital maps are an essential building block to ensure a safe driving experience for highly automated driving and autonomous vehicles. Purpose-built maps will be produced that will be much more reliable and accurate than those used for traditional applications.

These digital maps will be enriched with information from public databases and sensor data from connected vehicles. Traffic information, such as speed limits or the real-time dynamics of traffic flow, will help the vehicle’s navigation system to anticipate upcoming road conditions and take decisions beyond what is enabled by the vehicle’s on-board sensors.

Key role for GNSS

Satellite navigation (GNSS), and in particular Galileo, plays a key role in providing precise and secure positioning in vehicle navigation technologies for driverless mobility. Moreover, GNSS is the primary sensor for building digital maps to provide very accurate positioning together with other sensors, such as LiDAR, for example.

Dynamic data pose specific problems, particularly given their real-time nature: they must be generated, validated and made available to the user equipment without delay. This makes their integrity validation more challenging, and their transmission can be subject to errors or disruptions affecting the overall reliability.

Addressing the issue

Currently, it is the navigation and map provider’s responsibility to ensure the integrity of its products and the reliability of the information provided by third-party suppliers. However, until now the maps have been mainly used to support navigation, giving information to the driver, rather than to support safety-related functions.

Some industry standards exist or are being developed for data exchange and map content, but there are currently no specific standards or certification procedures to assess map data quality characteristics, such as reliability, integrity, and traceability. This public consultation is a starting point in addressing this issue.

Have your say

The public consultation can be accessed here. It will be open until Jan. 27.

About the Author:


Tracy Cozzens has served as managing editor of GPS World magazine since 2006, and also is editor of GPS World’s sister website, Geospatial Solutions. She has worked in government, for non-profits, and in corporate communications, editing a variety of publications for audiences ranging from federal government contractors to teachers.

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