The core innovation of SpeedFOX sits within 3 primary areas: a map editing partnership, smooth speed adaption and compliance. How it then utilizes the various TomTom ADAS offerings is in no small way a part of this innovation.
Map Editing Partnership
By being part of TomTom’s Map Editing Partnership
(MEP) program, SpeedFOX operates symbiotically, in that it feeds information back into the TomTom Map.” McFerren notes that SpeedFOX has been independently driven for over 56,000 miles in Southern Africa. During those journeys the company has been able to feedback speed limits to the MEP and make TomTom’s map data more accurate for the other road users – most changes are made within 48 hours of being noted.
Self-contained and untethered
SpeedFOX is a completely self-contained unit. This means it doesn’t have to be constantly connected to the internet to function. McFerren says this is a key differentiator for SpeedFOX as it involves the compression of the TomTom maps database to be housed in an offline environment which quickly (every second) locates the vehicle on the road, identifies the speed limit of the road the vehicle is on, compares that speed limited to the vehicle’s actual speed and then makes a rule-based decision as to whether intervention is required or not.
Just because SpeedFOX doesn’t need an always-on internet connection to function, doesn’t mean that it’s entirely disconnected from the internet. Every vehicle owner can choose how often they want their SpeedFOX unit to connect to the internet and update its map via Wi-Fi.
Smooth speed transitions
Naturally, there could be some major concerns if SpeedFOX were to abruptly enforce a change in the vehicle’s speed as the speed limit between two segments of road changes. McFerren says that a large amount thought went into ensuring that this wouldn’t happen.
The solution was to smooth the speed transition between two road segments over a period of time. For example, depending on the vehicle type, changing speed from 70mph to 50mph will occur over several seconds and not immediately as the limit changes. This ensures a seamless transition through various road segments while always making sure that the driver remains in complete control over the vehicle.
Compliance in conclusion
SpeedFOX does not breach any core ECU features and as such will not compromise any OEM warranties.
As development on SpeedFOX continues, MAPIT CEO, Kamal Ramsingh says that meeting international regulatory compliance is key. European ISA Type Certification of SpeedFOX is slated for the second quarter of 2022, while the Southern African certifications are already well underway.
TomTom and MAPIT have successfully collaborated to improve road safety for drivers in Southern Africa by integrating high-quality speed limit content from TomTom’s ADAS map into SpeedFOX, providing functionality similar to Intelligent Speed Assistance. This is a critical experience that both companies can apply to the upcoming European ISA legislation.