Mapping company AND to help Dutch government prepare for autonomous driving


Netherlands-based digital mapping company AND is joining a pilot project that will help the Dutch government prepare for autonomous driving on the country’s roads by making real-time updates to vital location data.

At the Intertraffic Amsterdam show, AND announced a collaboration with Talking Maps, which is a collaborative partnership between the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, and 60 regional and local authorities and private companies, including the province of Noord-Brabant and V-Tron.

For its role in the project, AND will ensure that data collected by the smart cameras and onboard sensors fitted to the vehicles used by Brabant’s roadside inspectors, will automatically improve, update and enrich map and location data via the company’s MapFusion software platform. Initially, only cars from Brabant’s roadside inspectors will be used for the pilot, but other road authorities are likely to join the Talking Maps project later, with more vehicles collecting data.

This collaboration starts with a pilot where the focus is on improving, updating and enriching HD Maps with road marking and traffic signs on the Maasvlakte-Venlo corridor, covering approximately 124 miles (200km) of highway. The next phase of the project will be set up on the basis of the pilot results.

HD Maps provide a highly accurate model of the road network that enables self-driving vehicles to maneuver very accurately and determine its exact location. This location data is critical for advanced driving applications and cooperative and autonomous driving.

AND is taking advantage of the growing trend in the automotive sector of more and more vehicles becoming connected to the internet and equipped with advanced sensors.

Map and location data form an essential component for more advanced safety systems, eco-efficient operation and autonomous driving. The conventional methods of creating maps no longer fulfills the requirements of these modern functions and systems, so AND’s MapFusion software not only ensures an unprecedented richness and accuracy of map data, but also delivers it at substantially lower costs. AND has also recently announced its collaboration with automotive systems developer Continental to automatically enrich and maintain digital maps.

“We are very excited to use our MapFusion technology, together with V-Tron, to help answer the questions of governments and other Talking Traffic partners,” said AND’s CEO, Hugo van der Linde. “We automatically integrate data from the car to create highly detailed and up-to-date maps. With this pilot, we aim to provide fresh data and give an extra boost for autonomous and cooperative driving with both passenger cars and trucks in the Netherlands.”

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International (TTi) magazine and its Traffic Technology Today website since May 2014. During his time at the title, he has interviewed some of the top transportation chiefs at public agencies around the world as well as CEOs of leading multinationals and ground-breaking start-ups. Tom's earlier career saw him working on some the UK's leading consumer magazine titles. He has a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).