TomTom announced TomTom RoadDNA at the IAA in Frankfurt on Monday, a product that should make the development of autonomous vehicles easier. The system provides accurate location information within the limited environment of a car.
RoadDNA does this by transforming images it records with a 3D depth camera into a compressed, two-dimensional point cloud of the road, giving each stretch of road its own unique pattern. The data is then compared with highly optimized images that also consist of such a pattern. TomTom has managed to pack a kilometer of road into approximately 25 kilobytes of data, keeping the system small and usable, even at high speeds.
TomTom RoadDNA must be combined with TomTom HAD maps, or Highly Automated Driving maps. TomTom wants to promote ‘automatic driving’ with the two technologies. The technology would make it “easy and cheap” for automakers to start making autonomous vehicles. TomTom CEO Harold Goddijn said in a statement that ‘the future of autonomous driving depends on a vehicle’s ability to constantly know where it is’.