What’s under the hood – A deeper look at optimizing driver safety with SmartHorizon

See how predictive navigational technology is helping automotive OEMs improve driver safety and gain competitive advantage.

The future of the driving experience is here now – and much of it centers on safety. Beyond reducing collisions and meeting regulatory requirements, innovative technologies like Telenav’s SmartHorizon are helping industry leaders like Ford deliver greater peace of mind on the road.

From helping drivers prepare for upcoming road conditions, to seamlessly adapting to different speed limits along a route, SmartHorizon provides critical support for a vehicle’s Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) functions. 

In our recent blog , we highlighted how SmartHorizon predictively prepares map, traffic, and navigation data, enabling ADAS features to respond more rapidly to changes on the road. Here we’ll dive a little deeper into how it works, including some use cases examples.

SmartHorizon in action

In many cases, optimizing safety relies on accurately predicting the most probable paths and actions a driver might take. SmartHorizon uses multiple data sources, learned driving patterns, and robust algorithms to deliver reliably accurate predictive information that helps increase the responsiveness of ADAS functions. 

To optimize performance of ADAS applications, the Telenav solution supports a variety of use cases, including:


Meet ISA compliance (Intelligent Speed Assist):

To meet the ISA requirement for adjusting vehicle speed to the current speed limit, the ISA subsystem provides drivers options to either manually control speed or have the system adapt automatically. With manual control, drivers will see a warning (on the cluster) if they are exceeding the speed limit. With intelligent control, the vehicle dynamically adjusts speed to the current limit. In both cases, SmartHorizon factors in explicit signed limits, as well as implicit and conditional speed limits based on road conditions, weather, vehicle type, etc.


Increase road safety with Adaptative Cruise Control:

SmartHorizon helps Adaptive Cruise Control by providing information about the road ahead such as curvature, speed limits, junctions, which is not always available to existing sensors, (e.g., on-board cameras, LIDAR, etc.). This is where the advantage integrating map data comes in, to allow the vehicle to see more than just the road ahead, and to see around corners, beyond obstacles, at all times of the day, irrespective of the weather.


Improve fuel efficiency and energy consumption:

For energy efficient driving, the vehicle must be able to anticipate driving conditions that will affect fuel or battery consumption. For example, say the vehicle is coming up on an uphill or a traffic-congested part of the city area. SmartHorizon proactively sends map details to vehicle control units which can then automatically adjust vehicle driving style and speed to save on fuel or battery.

For heavy-duty trucks in particular, reducing fuel consumption can translate to substantially lower operating costs. And, optimizing energy consumption can help EV drivers reduce their range anxiety.


Enhance ADAS in low visibility conditions:

Using rich map data, SmartHorizon helps optimize ADAS functions when the vehicle has little or no visibility to detect traffic signs, speed limit, etc. For example, road signs may not be visible due to darkness, bad weather (snow, fog, rain), or heavy traffic (e.g., truck blocking the sign). The system delivers the relevant road details to ensure ADAS features activate as needed.


Optimize diverse situations:

This electronic horizon solution also supports a range of other specialized needs in the vehicle. For instance, an Early Warning System can help drivers avoid hazardous road conditions with alternate route suggestions. To support dynamic lane-level guidance, the system proactively provides lane count, lane markings, and HOV lanes for greater safety on busy roadways. It also improves Adaptive Front Lighting by advising the vehicle about upcoming road conditions where headlights may need to adjust, such as on curves, in tunnels, fog, etc.

A peek under the hood

SmartHorizon predicts probable driver paths based on multiple data sources such as navigation routes, historical and predicted destinations, personalized routes, and learned driver behaviors. The system is fully ADASISv2 compliant and includes capabilities such as:

  • Enhanced path prediction – Using map information, driving patterns and car ‘sensor fusion’ data, SmartHorizon provides predictive information with very high accuracy. To enhance prediction even further, it looks at many signals such as changes in speed, braking, lateral movement, wheel position, turn signals, and camera-based current lane.
  • Streamed map contents – Using the freshest map information is critical. SmartHorizon seamlessly downloads the latest version of surrounding map data from the cloud, as needed. It does this intelligently to ensure that the latest information is available while minimizing data download and onboard memory usage.
  • Dual eHorizon range support – SmartHorizon supports both short and long range eHorizon data. Short range (1 km) detects traffic, signage, and road conditions. Long range (8 km+) detects road conditions from further ahead to send eHorizon messages like those to help fuel efficiency.
  • eHorizon Visualization tool – To simplify the validation process for ADAS functionality, OEMs can use the tool to visualize the Most Probable Paths and ADASIS messages generated along the way.

Optimizing driver safety to fuel OEM growth

Improving safety while delivering more delightful driver experiences is now a critical competitive advantage for automotive OEMs. For more than a decade, Telenav has been committed to innovating connected car navigation and location-based solutions such as SmartHorizon. 

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