Safer roads in Southern Africa thanks to MAPIT’s ISA and TomTom ADAS Map
Speed is a critical factor when it comes to road accidents and road safety. Governments are moving quickly to improve road safety across Europe, and globally, by implementing legislation requiring all new vehicles to be fitted with Intelligent Speed Assistant (ISA) technology. In Europe, ISA will be mandatory for type approval for all new cars starting July 2022.
While the legislation appears unified, not all ISA tech is created equal. Many ISAs either only alert the driver (visually or audibly) to the speed infringement; or they require an always-on connection to the internet to function.
MAPIT has overcome both challenges, through its ISA solution based on TomTom’s ADAS map in Southern Africa to actively check and manage vehicle speeds with its product: SpeedFOX.
SpeedFOX packs a great deal of innovation into a small package. Graeme McFerren, Solutions Architect for MAPIT says, “SpeedFOX intelligently assists drivers to comply with speed regulations in varying road conditions through a semi-autonomous technology that reinforces positive driver behavior leading to fewer accidents, no speeding fines, smoother driving, reduced fuel consumption, improved maintenance and safer roads.”
SpeedFOX can deliver on the specific ISA regulations that are being made mandatory via the various governments worldwide.
Through differentiated thinking and cutting-edge development and integration, SpeedFOX has been engineered to deliver a consistently safer road environment for everyone.
TomTom ADAS Map for ISA
TomTom ADAS Map contains broad coverage of road geometry, traffic signs and speed limits across Europe, Africa and North America. The ADAS Map speed limits allow millions of automotive customers to improve the safety of their L1-2 driver assistance functions by anticipating the road ahead. Similarly, SpeedFOX uses ADAS Map Speed limits to improve safety by countering speeding, very similar to the upcoming European ISA legislation.
Lee AnnamalaiCTO of the MAPIT
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.
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