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Automated Driving 5 min read

Why maps matter for your Intelligent Speed Assistance tech

Why maps matter for your Intelligent Speed Assistance tech

Road safety in Europe is about to take a leap forward – and maps are powering this revolution. Is your company ready to embrace the change?

Starting in July 2022, new vehicles introduced to market in Europe must have an Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA) system fitted as part of a suite of new technologies designed to make the roads safer. This is going to be mandatory for every newly registered vehicle by July 2024.

It comes as part of the European Union's General Safety Regulation for motor vehicles that it believes could save 25,000 road deaths over 15 years.



Crucially, the rules apply to both private and commercial vehicles. So, motorcycles aside, we're talking about every new car, van, bus, and truck adopting this technology. And it's not optional. Vehicle makers must adhere to this if they want to continue selling their products.

There are many benefits for consumers, as we explore in February's HERE360 article, but for vehicle makers, there are a number of challenges, most notably perhaps time and cost. The timeline is very short to implement this technology, especially when you consider that most vehicle makers typically have a pre-development period of four to five years. Then there's the cost: even the most reasonably priced cars now need to be equipped with sophisticated technology normally reserved for more premium models.

But whether it's a Fiat Panda or a Rolls Royce Phantom, soon every new car will need a camera, a map, and a processor that can merge all this data to provide drivers with an accurate and constantly updated speed limit alert at all times. The rules are clear, too. The system needs to be built-in, so smartphones aren't an option.


Technology that will tell you the speed on every road in Europe will be mandatory in all new cars sold from 2022.

Image credit: Continental

To make matters more complicated, it isn't one blanket speed limit for all vehicles either. In the truck and commercial vehicle space, there are a lot of speed limits that apply to these types of vehicles that are not necessarily shown by regulatory signs.

Take Germany, for instance. Many highways here have no speed limit; however, a general 80km/h default applies for trucks, which is often lower than the speed limits posted for cars that can be read by a camera.

Similarly, there are a lot of conditional road signs that are really hard, if not impossible, for a camera system to read, such as time or vehicle type conditions. And speed limits can depend on the weather, like France's 110km/h speed limit in wet weather. Also, signs might not be readable because they are obstructed by foliage or roadside objects. The advantage of a map-based ISA system is that it can always provide speed limit information irrespective of the environmental or road conditions.

And then there's the user experience. For vehicle makers, it's not enough to merely meet or exceed the regulations, you need to create something your customers can really trust. The last thing they want is a system that's constantly interfering, beeping or displaying the wrong information, and which needs to be manually updated all the time.

ISA is an important stepping stone for the consumer adoption of drive automation systems. Here is the industry's chance to show how driver assistance can work and gain broad consumer trust with a relatively simple implementation – if we get it right.

So how can you create an ISA system that will be low cost, always up to date and actually work as consumers expect?

As we've explained above, camera-only systems won't be enough to pass the regulations. Vehicle makers also need a reliable map.

At HERE, we have decades of experience in creating robust, accurate, and reliable global maps that can be easily integrated into Intelligent Speed Assistance systems. For several years our maps have included speed limit information for every road, including specific truck attributes. Powering our mapping technology is a powerful new content management system that can refresh data faster than ever before, and can pull in millions of data points from third-party sources, government sensor data and anonymized data from vehicles. Another benefit for your customers is our maps are constantly updated automatically.

Backing this up, our HERE True Drives program uses vehicles with 360-degree cameras to capture live data on the ground. And we're supplementing all that data to understand in greater detail things like where speed limits have changed, and where there might be temporary speed limits such as at long-term construction sites.

To find out more, read our new solution briefing: Boosting awareness, comfort and safety of drivers through ADAS.

Philip Hubertus

Philip Hubertus

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