Israeli transport intelligence company Tactile Mobility has formed a partnership with HERE Technologies, the Dutch-based mapping services company, to commercialize tactile virtual sensing data that will provide automotive companies and municipalities with real-time data on road conditions.
Tactile Mobility generates real-time insights about vehicle-road dynamics that are fed back into the vehicle's computers to enable better driving decisions. Tactile data is the agglomeration of various streams of data arising from a vehicle when it navigates through a driving environment. Tactile Mobility splits this data into three different types and analyzes it to project insights that represent vehicle road dynamics in real time.
"By uploading this data to the (HERE) cloud and applying machine learning, Tactile Mobility is able to model road conditions for vehicles equipped with its software," said Amit Nisenbaum, the CEO of Tactile Mobility.
The partnership between Tactile Mobility and HERE will accelerate the adoption of tactile data, facilitating a whole segment of services that revolve around how vehicles interact with the road. The HERE Marketplace will help mobilize large tactile data sets that can be utilized by a wide range of potential customers who can build applications and solutions off of the data sets.
"By aggregating this model across multiple vehicles, Tactile Mobility creates SurfaceDNA, a mapping layer of road conditions and hazards that offers an in-depth, crowdsourced view of driving environments," said Nisenbaum. "This new map layer is used by OEMs, road authorities and municipalities to support route optimization, vehicle systems preconditioning, planned maintenance, live hazard detection, postaccident analysis and more."
Tactile Mobility will now provide access to over 10 terabytes of tactile data across more than 10 million km of public roads globally. The company believes that this association will be a stepping stone to bringing the limelight to tactile virtual sensing and data in an industry that is heavily biased toward visual-perception technologies.
Nisenbaum explained that by increasing access to tactile data to automakers, municipalities and road authorities, driving could be made safer and more efficient. "For example, municipalities can uncover road hazards in real time and alert drivers and vehicle fleets, and autonomous and smart vehicles can be instantly programmed ahead of time to prepare for hazards on the road ahead, thus preventing accidents, rather than reacting once a dangerous situation has already taken place," he said.
Tactile Mobility's association with HERE is eventful in the driving data landscape, which has been synonymous with automotive visual data from devices like cameras, LiDARs and radars. Tactile could further improve the human driving experience by making sense of conditions like black ice, hydroplaning, and potholes — a critical aspect that is missed by the majority of the existing sensors.
"With ongoing road trials worldwide and about to announce its first commercial contract with a leading OEM, Tactile Mobility will be able to regularly add new data to the HERE Marketplace, enabling access to the most up-to-date information about vehicle-road dynamics," said Nisenbaum. "As Tactile Mobility expands into additional regions, more geographically specific data will be added."