VDO 3D navigation system with
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
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
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
Even when faced with overpasses, bridge
approaches and rail crossings, the new navigation system
from Siemens can reliably distinguish different levels and
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
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.