Intelligent Speed Assistance

Speeding has been a leading factor in road deaths since the invention of the car. Now, we are moving into a new era of vehicle safety with advanced technologies such as Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA) – powered by digital ADAS map data with speed limits.

Why ISA is mandatory in all new vehicles

Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA) is a vehicle safety feature that informs drivers of the current speed limit and, when needed, acts as a speed limiter – automatically reducing a vehicle’s speed by limiting engine power. The technology is estimated to reduce accidents by 30% and deaths by 20%.

To make driving safer, EU legislation made ISA mandatory for all new vehicles starting in 2022, and mandatory for all existing carlines per 2024. The legislation applies to all European cars, vans, trucks and buses. Both the global New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) and Euro NCAP protocol will also award vehicles with ISA tech higher safety ratings. So how can automakers best adopt the new safety technologies?

The safest route to ISA – TomTom ADAS Map data

ISA can use cameras alone to identify speed limits through traffic sign recognition. Cameras, however, have limited range, can be blinded by rain or snow, and perform poorly when needing to recognize conditional and variable speed limits, such as speed limits for specific weather conditions or vehicle types.

Advanced digital map data solves these issues – containing verified speed limit data that ‘sees’ beyond camera range and performs in all conditions. The map data fuses with a vehicle’s ADAS function to prepare for changing speed limits. The result is not only greater vehicle safety, but also increased driver comfort and energy efficiency. Additionally, speed accuracy will also help vehicles score better on the 2023 Euro NCAP Safety Assist protocol.

Increasing vehicle safety with the TomTom ADAS Map

As proven by vehicles using our technology, see two main ways TomTom enables increased vehicle safety.

Traffic sign recognition and intelligent speed control

An on-board camera recognizes speed limit signs. Data is verified by TomTom ADAS Map data, or provided directly if the camera fails. The speed is advised to the driver, and adaptive cruise control can automatically reset to the new speed limit. To make roads safer and reduce accidents, Euro NCAP promotes the installation of these systems in new vehicles.

Adaptive cruise control

Vehicle speed automatically adjusts to keep a safe distance from the vehicle ahead. Building on intelligent speed control, a fusion of digital map speed limits and camera-based data is used to regulate speed in relation to speed limits.

Meet TomTom Virtual Horizon – using our ADAS Map data for ISA

Traffic sign recognition and intelligent speed control fuse camera input and compare this with TomTom ADAS Map data. Using GPS positioning, the relevant speed limit is extracted from the map. The map data is then made available via proprietary TomTom software, called Virtual Horizon.

Virtual Horizon knows the road ahead, based on the main path for the current or predicted route. Across this route, data for relevant speed limits and traffic signs is accessible. The Virtual Horizon is highly configurable to match application needs. It is available in proprietary, or industry standard ADASIS v2 mini and ADASIS v2 formats.

More on map data – achieving qualified safety

Many speed limit types are nearly impossible for cameras to recognize, such as speed limits conditional on time of day, weather and vehicle type, and speed limits with sub-plates and implicit speed limits (for example, entering a city boundary). TomTom map data provides highly accurate, verified content for all speed limit types in 100+ countries.

TomTom ADAS Map speed limits are collected by TomTom survey vehicles and maintained with crowdsourced data. We attach these speed limits to specific road segments, also indicating specific validity if it is a conditional speed limit. Internal TomTom audits and benchmarks against competition confirm the leading quality of our speed limit data.

The benefits

Using ADAS Map data for ISA brings many benefits: increased driver comfort, safer vehicles that meet emerging safety standards, better Euro NCAP vehicle safety ratings, and greater road safety for all.

Automakers with navigation software supplied by TomTom get an added benefit: our well-loved user interface, which makes it easy for drivers to view the correct speed limit at all times.


ADAS solutions for the safety mandates of today and tomorrow

Discover how your vehicles can deliver on ISA and Euro NCAP safety regulations with our ADAS portfolio.

White paper: ADAS Map Speed Limits - Improve mandatory Intelligent Speed Assistance and vehicle safety ratings
PDF - 4.26MB
White paper: Learning the lessons of the European ISA Mandate
PDF - 1.97 MB

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