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Photo-quality 3-D map display from Siemens VDO in 2007

Photo-quality 3-D map display from Siemens VDO in 2007.

Photo-quality 3-D map display from Siemens VDO in 2007 - closer view.

Siemens VDO 3D navigation system with photorealistic representations.

10th Dec. 2005.

To make orientation easier for drivers, Siemens VDO has developed a three-dimensional photo-quality map display.

With detailed, true-to-life imaging, hundreds of digitally integrated orientation points and realistic simulations of whole city neighbourhoods, drivers should be able find the way to their destinations through even complicated intersections and unfamiliar urban areas more easily and more safely in the future.

Development of this three-dimensional navigation system is already at an advanced stage so mass production will be possible starting in 2007. It is based on the open, freely scalable system platform TLA (Top Level Architecture).

For three-dimensional representation in a picture quality never before achieved, Siemens is the first to compose the digital image from three maps at one time. The basis is formed by a so-called “Digital Terrain Model” (DTM) with which the earth’s surface is divided into small cubes. Using these clusters, the gradient of the land with its high and low points can be traced in great detail. The developers then lay digitalized satellite or overflight photos over this grid. Forming a third layer, the digital street map is then integrated into the image so that the driver always receives a comprehensive, updated view of the routing.

One highlight of the 3D navigation system from Siemens VDO is the photorealistic representation of urban scenarios. With an eye to better orientation in large cities, the company digitalized numerous well-known structures and integrated them into the database with very precise real-life images. In addition, many buildings are constructed by the computer based on their floor plans. As a result, the monitor displays true-to-life images of entire streets that the driver can view from any desired perspective without distortion as if zooming with a video camera.

In contrast to other navigation systems, for Siemens VDO the orientation points are not isolated in the map, but are linked completely to the entire system and the databases of additional available information-providers. That means tourist information, business hours, and the address can be called up for every important building at the touch of a button and a telephone connection or linkage to the destination can be created.

By the planned start of mass production at the end of 2007, Siemens VDO and the database producers will already have covered the 100 most important cities in Europe in this way.

With its three-dimensional navigation system, Siemens is enabling a whole spectrum of new functions that make driving simpler and more relaxed, even in difficult situations. Before reaching a complicated traffic intersection the system will open a new map window with a three-dimensional zoom representation of the corresponding intersection.

Even when faced with overpasses, bridge approaches and rail crossings, the new navigation system from Siemens can reliably distinguish different levels and lanes.

Moreover, due to its detailed profile of the landscape, the 3D navigation system also opens up new possibilities for drivers of off-road vehicles, so in the future it will also be possible to plan off-road routes.

Siemens' system leaves the choice of map display entirely up to the driver. Whether monitor or head-up display – the customer will be able to switch back and forth among the conventional map, bird’s eye view, and three-dimensional image at the touch of a button. In split-screen mode, different displays in different scales can be viewed at the same time.

The next step in development will make driving with 3D navigation even more relaxed: intersection situations will become even clearer because the onboard computer will automatically simulate the entire scenario, even including lane markings and signage, photo realistically within a split second, and insert the planned route into the three-dimensional graphics.

Together with a camera, the navigation system would even be able to recognize traffic lights and signs and integrate them into the graphics.

These kinds of functions and applications are possible only with Top Level Architecture (TLA) from Siemens VDO. With its standardized interfaces, this open, freely scalable platform offers the necessary flexibility to integrate new trends, developments, and technologies into vehicles quickly and efficiently.

As a major automotive supplier of electronics and mechatronics, Siemens VDO Automotive manufactures a wide range of products relating to the drivetrain, engine management electronics and fuel injection, information and car communication systems, instrumentation, audio and navigation equipment, telematics and multimedia applications, airbags, ABS, access control systems, up to entire cockpit designs.

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