RoadSense™: A Smarter Car Makes For A Safer Drive

In this article Product Manager Automotive Europe, Daniel Pomian, touches upon how Telenav is supporting OEMs and their drivers to travel safer with RoadSense, navigation intelligence that utilizes the accuracy of vehicle sensors and the power of crowd sourcing.

A primary focus of the automotive industry is safety—from OEMs to ADAS/Maps/Navigation, etc. providers bring up-to-date services to drivers and beyond (e.g. governments, 3rd party agencies). Because of the demand from consumers and automakers, car sensors and ADAS systems are becoming smarter and more enhanced. ADAS systems have developed various forms of driver-assistance features, including:

  • Traction Control
  • Collision Detection
  • Blind Spot Monitoring
  • Emergency Braking
  • Lane Keep/Change Assistance

However, even the most intelligent ADAS systems are limited in what they can see and detect on the route ahead with sensors in unpredictable driving conditions. For instance, when there’s a large truck in front of you, during a severe rain or snow storm, or even a road after a corner.

Additionally, vehicle sensors lack in extensive range (they reach only a couple of hundred meters), which presents a small window of reaction time before an alert; this is a problem when you are driving on highways at a cruising speed.

Telenav’s Answer

A solution to this problem is to leverage the power of crowdsourcing by collecting and processing car sensors to derive real-time insight about upcoming road hazards. The overall goal of this technology is to use this data to inform other drivers who will encounter the hazards on their route.

Telenav is working precisely on providing such a crowd-sourcing based solution to our partners and clients.

How CrowdSourcing Works – Explained in Images

What Hazards Are We Looking to Address?

Research and statistics show:

  • 22% of vehicle collisions are caused by weather-related hazards (e.g. wet, icy, slushy roads, fog, rain, snow), resulting in 6,000 deaths per year – US Federal Highway Administration
  • 30% of accidents involve potholes and poor road conditions, causing over $3 billion per year in damages – AAA Study

Combining these figures with sensors found in most cars today (such as Speed, ABS, Traction Control, Windshield Wipers, Lights, Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Suspension), Telenav chose to assist the driver in overcoming these hazards first:

  • Slippery Roads (wet/icy/slushy roads or terrain)
  • Potholes and Poor Road Condition
  • Fog/Reduced Visibility
  • Wrong Way Driver
  • Sudden Traffic Slow Down/Stop

How Can We Source Hazards Data?

We are building our product by means of two methods:

  1. Telenav’s crowd sourcing of the car sensor data from our OEM partners—deriving our own hazards data insights, using Telenav’s solutions (which include AI with Machine Learning).
  2. 3rd party hazards data from our content partners (including Weather Hazards and Road/Traffic Hazards).

How Are We helping & Assisting the Drivers?

Telenav believes that good driver assistance is provided only when needed and in a way the driver can quickly and easily understand; this promotes safety and prevents distraction.

We will provide assistance, via Telenav’s Navigation system, in 3 commands:

  • Informing the driver via Map Display
  • Alerting the driver
  • Providing alternative/safer routes

The provided experience is built around these key features:

Display the Hazards on the Navigation map
On the Center Stack
On the Cluster
Alert the Driver about the Relevant Hazard ahead, in due time to safely take an action (Visually & Audio)
On Center Stack
On Cluster
Provide Alternative Routes, to avoid the Relevant Hazards

Isn’t This The Same Technology Used With Traffic and Traffic Hazards?

The key difference and benefit of RoadSense™ is that crowdsourcing data provides more accurate and real-time information (all vehicle sensors and no human error).This is a potential game changer, leading to huge improvements in safety and driving experience.

Our vision on Roadsense™ has always been to make connected driving safer and smarter and to improve safety by crowdsourcing, to leverage the power of every car driving on the road, so that everyone can benefit.


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