Case study

SDK for Connected NDS-Based Navigation

We’ve enhanced an integrated automotive-grade navigation solution that makes the driving experience more personalized, connected, and safe

AutomotiveCloud & DevOpsMobilityNavigation & MappingPlatform Development

Project highlights

  • Build traffic- and hazard-aware routes
  • Perform voice and text search for POIs
  • Provide dynamic guidance with traffic visualization
Automotive, LBS
Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Team size:
100+ members
2015 – present

Business challenge

Our client is one of the key contributors of innovative services and solutions in the global automotive navigation market. The company delivers mapping data and SDK solutions for automotive to enterprises, automakers, navigation system manufacturers, technology companies, governmental organizations, and individual consumers.

Their products include highly accurate HD maps that, coupled with data extracted from onboard vehicle sensors and lane geometry information, help automakers test their prototype automated vehicles on public roads. Our client’s hallmark product is a connected car SDK with NDS map that use a set of modular software components. It allows OEMs to build fully integrated E2E navigation solutions as part of in-vehicle infotainment systems. The SDK ships with NDS maps, map update tools, point-of-interest search, routing, guidance, live traffic updates, and much more.

SDK for Connected NDS-Based Navigation

Rising global demand for connected vehicles has forced car companies and OEMs to create an SDK software for more and more sophisticated IoT-enabled in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) systems. Setting the IoT for automotive trend, our client was one of the first to go beyond the conventional concept of automotive navigation. They decided to shift from simple point-to-point guidance to a whole set of new navigation experiences that are deeply integrated, personalized, informative, safe, and handy both inside and outside the car.

To realize this idea, our client needed a brand-new software development kit (SDK) that would allow OEMs to build next-generation embedded navigation solutions. Their focus was on making this SDK IoT-centric and thus enabling such features as cloud-powered cross-platform communication, over-the-air map updates, real-time traffic, route, and destination predictions, vehicle fleet sensor data integration, and driver and vehicle profiles. The SDK was designed to work with the newest NDS 2.4.x maps, offering more cartographic information and optimized performance.

Technology solution

Our collaboration with this client on the NDS-based navigation solution kicked off in the scope of a larger mutual program portfolio that involved migrating a map production pipeline, developing a navigation HMI, and implementing smart route predictions.

The organizational structure of the client’s SDK program was complex and consisted of separate workstreams dealing with individual SDK components. These comprised rendering, routing, guidance, search, positioning, map updates, ADAS, mobile integration, traffic, and more. Intellias complemented the client’s workstreams with highly skilled engineering experts from our Lviv, Kyiv, and Odesa development offices.

As a result, we managed to cover development of the entire spectrum of navigation- and map-related features, including:

  • Rendering

Our team built a component for visualizing 2D and 3D maps on the vehicle’s head unit, heads-up display, dashboard, and rear-seat displays.

  • Routing

We extended the routing engine, providing a family of algorithms with heuristics tailored to specific use cases within a connected navigation solution: embedded and cloud deployment, traffic and time awareness, car and pedestrian route building, and more. Additionally, our team created a set of Python tests for validating the compatibility, integrity, and uniformity of NDS map data used for routing.

  • Guidance

We implemented voice and visual notifications that help drivers follow routes safely and without distraction.

  • Map updates

Our experts delivered a component that automatically checks for map updates in the cloud. Update packages can be downloaded over-the-air and installed with minimum driver distraction.

  • Search

Intellias helped adapt navigation for the Korean and Chinese markets. In particular, we developed a lexical analyzer and a parser for separating words in Chinese search requests as a workaround for the absence of punctuation and spaces in Chinese.

  • Traffic

Intellias implemented a component that gathers and processes real-time road event data and passes it to the navigation solution. The highlight feature enriches the map with weather hazards along the route. Once identified, weather information can be further communicated to the vehicle’s active safety control system for a timely response.

  • Positioning

We provided R&D activities targeting issues related to mapping the vehicle’s current position with the digitized road network when GPS and an internet connection are unavailable. Our engineers implemented complex algorithms that can derive a vehicle’s exact position by overlapping different map layers in real time and considering variables like vehicle direction, speed, road slope, and map rendering parameters.

  • Mobile integration

Our team implemented a mechanism that synchronizes stored routes and personal places between the embedded navigation system and a mobile device through the cloud. This allowed our client to introduce a door-to-door navigation feature that helps drivers to get walking and public transit directions.

  • ADAS

Intellias successfully integrated support for the ADASIS protocol for transferring map and traffic data to the vehicle’s driver assistance systems. This allows the vehicle to be aware of actual road and traffic conditions a few kilometers ahead and respond to incidents immediately.

Business impact

During three years of collaboration, Intellias has successfully delivered a number of automotive SDK design releases. Our engineering team has grown in size, quality, expertise, and trust. As evidence of this trust, our client has handed over ownership of the entire SDK product to Intellias, making us one of their priority development centers. We’re responsible for meeting the navigation needs of several distinguished auto manufacturers from Germany, Japan, and the United Kingdom.

Presently, Intellias is actively developing a new-generation SDK whose feature-freeze version is a few months away. The product will go into future German high-end sedans and SUVs.

The new SDK version will boast the following:

  • Full support for offline map viewing, search, and navigation
  • Detailed, high-resolution NDS 2.5.x maps with enhanced performance
  • Enhanced 3D rendering capabilities, including of roadway lanes
  • Map area pre-loading for offline access
  • Route building with integrated transportation alternatives
  • Embedded taxi booking services
  • Indoor navigation
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