Smartphone app updates traffic sign data base

July 07, 2014 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
With its myDriveAssist smartphone app, Bosch uses an innovative approach: The app recognises traffic signs and makes its findings available to the driver and at the same time to a central server which uses these data to generate a real-time speed limit map of the road network.

myDriveAssist utilises the smartphone camera to identify road signs. It recognises no passing signs, speed limits and the related cancellation signs. Case the driver exceeds the speed limit, the app issues visual and acoustic warning.

So far, nothing exceptional. After all, this functionality has been implemented in many driver assistance systems for quite a while. But that's new: The traffic signs identified by the app are also fed into a data base stored on a backend server and updates a digital roadmap. Towards this end, the road signs as well as the related GPS data are anonymised and forwarded to this server. In other words, the smartphone cameras function as the eyes of the system.

The database is updated virtually in real time. Thus, the digital map contains a real-time image of all speed limits, no passings etc that can be shared with all other traffic participants. Thus, the drivers get access to up-to-data traffic sign information.

Currently, the system covers the German road network. The app is available on Apple's and Google's app stores.

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