The news report below, “UK proposes mapping standards for self-driving cars, and calls for comments”, was published by Electronics Weekly on 11 July 2019. is the UK’s leading website for electronics professionals. It is the online arm of Electronics Weekly, the leading source of information in the UK electronics industry for more than 55 years. The full article is available below and was originally posted here.

A UK report has proposed global standards for the high-definition mapping necessary for “the safe deployment of self-driving vehicles”, according to Ordnance Survey, which worked with Zenzic, the UK Government-initiated hub organisation for self-driving vehicle development, to prepare the report – and call for comments (see below).

According to the report, self-driving vehicles will require maps with resolution better than 50mm to ensure operation in complex environments. “Maps will also need to include information on curbs, street-level features like lamp-posts, pedestrian crossings and road markings,” said OS. “Real-time updates to maps will also be crucial to let self-driving cars ‘see’ around corners for temporary objects in the road like skips or roadworks.”

These constantly-updated maps allow the vehicle to reference the position of other road users against known objects, and also, according to OS, provide back-up in situations where its sensors are less effective – for example when heavy-rain or sun reflecting off a wet-road make relying on sensor data difficult, it said.

“Currently there is no single source of high-definition mapping data, each self-driving company is having to develop its own from the ground up,” said Ordnance Survey, which is suggesting a neutrally-hosted platform for mapping data. “For this to work standards for how data is collected and shared will need to be implemented globally.”

The ‘Geodata report – analysis and recommendations for self-driving vehicle testing’ is available here, for the price of your contact details.

A comment form is available from the same webpage. “We are releasing the report with an accompanying consultation form to gain further input from the wider industry,” said Zenzic. “Your contributions can help to build on current findings and impact future iterations of the report.”

The consultation period will run to the end of October.