Virtual Horizon Online is the newest and quickest path to ISA compliance
Vincent Demuynck
Feb 22, 2022
Automated driving

Virtual Horizon Online is the newest and quickest path to ISA compliance

Vincent Demuynck
Manager Business Development
Feb 22, 20223 min read
Virtual Horizon Online is the newest and quickest path to ISA compliance
From July 2022, all new vehicles brought to market in the EU must be equipped with an Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA) system. For vehicles to pass type approval, they must reference speed limit data from both cameras and digital maps. Although this presents a challenge for carmakers, thankfully there are plenty of solutions available.
The Virtual Horizon, launched in July 2021, is one such solution. It’s also a pioneering all-in-one service with pre-integrated ADAS map data that can help carmakers produce ISA-compliant vehicles. With the latest cloud-based iteration, Virtual Horizon Online, OEMs now have access to a lightweight, lower cost route to ISA compliance thanks to fully online maps and offboard functionalities that can handle areas with poor cellular connectivity.

All cars, with and without navigation, must comply with ISA legislation in the coming years. Due to the high safety standards, and the requirement that systems be 90% accurate, ISA systems need to reference camera observations and digital maps, such as TomTom’s ADAS Map.

This can either happen onboard the vehicle, or now, thanks to Virtual Horizon Online, it can happen offboard. For cars with connectivity, Virtual Horizon Online gives vehicles access to ADAS map data required for ISA compliance, while requiring minimal onboard hardware and resources.



How does it work?


First, the Virtual Horizon Online service requires a series of GPS locations from a vehicle. It then performs map-matching in the cloud to understand where the vehicle is and what road it’s driving on.

Using the latest machine learning (ML) techniques, a most probable path (MPP) is calculated. The respective speed limits for this MPP are then sent back to the vehicle. This includes dynamic speed limits that follow a fixed schedule, which are very common in Western Europe. As the service only sends map data needed for ISA functionality and nothing more, data consumption is greatly reduced compared to traditional online map technologies from competitors.

With no map data stored in the vehicle, and because map-matching is done in the TomTom cloud, this ISA tech is much cheaper to implement with very low resource requirements. This makes Virtual Horizon Online the ideal choice for adding to existing ECUs in a vehicle. Development times are cut and go-to-market times for ISA compliance are dramatically reduced.
Fresh accurate speed limits are always within reach with the Virtual Horizon Online
Fresh accurate speed limits are always within reach with the Virtual Horizon Online.



Virtual Horizon Online also considers areas with poor cellular connectivity – areas known as “white zones”. In this scenario, the amount of speed limit data sent to the vehicle can be extended so that vehicles remain ISA compliant even when there is no cellular connection. Once the vehicle exits the white zone, an updated position will be shared with TomTom and new speed limits for the MPP will be shared once again.
TomTom Virtual Horizon will make it easy for automakers to meet new ISA requirements, but most importantly, it will help to make roads safer!
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