Kristopher Denard was shocked when he saw a pedestrian who didn't stare at him.
He's slowly crossing the minivan at the dead end. de-
Sacs in the suburbs of Detroit are painted in bright orange with its roof mount bristles with electronics: GPS (GPS)
Antenna, laser measuring system and 14 digital cameras.
Today, drive him through the middle of a row.
Century ranch house that seems to last forever.
The van's imaging equipment is being snapped up, and every mile it travels, it will accumulate one thousand megabytes of digital photos and information.
Denard's unique vehicle is a mobile map vehicle owned by teleatlas, the Netherlands, which, along with Navteq and Google, for the most part of the decade, I have been building detailed geographic databases used by navigation devices and websites.
What drivers see today on a navigation screen or smartphone is just the most basic outline of the knowledge accumulated by the van.
A lot of data is being collected to expect more complex location services and features on devices that have not yet been manufactured.
"We are entering an era where everyone knows where they are, knows everything around them, knows how to get to where they want to be," said Alain de Tayer, founder of teleatlas.
The laser beam on the remote Atlas vans scanned each building on the road thousands of times, creating a three
When matched with a photo from a high level, the neighbor's size model
Resolution camera that can be used to re-
Create a realistic urban landscape.
In the end, when the processor and memory are cheap enough, these 3-
D City View will be in-
The car navigation system helps drivers understand their location by displaying the surrounding landmarks.
Navigation for $37 billion
The equipment market is very hot, but it is not as hot as before.
According to market research firm NPD Group, growth was 140% in the first half of 2007 and 50% in the first half of this year.
Since the end of last year, sales of equipment manufacturers TomTom and Garmin have fallen by 84% and 75% respectively, mainly due to lower sales forecasts and concerns about the commoditisation of products. Eighty-
This year, 5 million smartphones with built-in GPS will be sold, 8 times the number of built-in GPS
Cars and portable navigation equipment.
Like the previous PC industry, the economic value of the navigation business has shifted to software, in which case it is very difficult --to-
Copy the map database.
TomTom acquired Tele Atlas for $4 in July.
After a bidding war with Garmin, revenue reached 6 billion, or 115 times.
Nokia bought Navteq for $7 in July.
7 billion, pay 44 times the income.
Manufacturers of navigation devices and mobile phones are eager for new ideas from their databases to keep people buying new hardware.
New technologies such as predictive routing can make equipment useful every day, not just on longer road trips.
"Nine out of ten, you know where you're going.
So what can we add?
"More information," said Brian mitley, Chief Executive Officer of transportation.
Trucks are the starting point of the future.
Every picture they take is the location.
Seal with a GPS antenna that is accurate to less than 6 inch.
Five cameras at 360-
Degree view, sixth up, the other eight cameras shoot higher --
High quality photos of the front and sides can be seen every few seconds.
The photos capture everything: Middle, overhead direction sign, Lane mark, no right turn sign.
"This is a big problem," said operator Denard . ".
Without these signs, a car could run into oncoming traffic.
All of this data flow into the back of the van, where the rear seat has been contained by one of two 500-
Gigabit hard drive.
In the motel room at the end of the day, drivers like Denard look at data that typically costs about 100 miles and upload bits to Tele Atlas.
Through this data, technicians identify address numbers and road signs and coordinate changes.
The data collected now that has not yet been used include the calculation of elevation data for the roadway level, which may become-
Seat Drivers for the next generation of trucks and cars.
Teleatlas says a truck can predict an upward tilt on the road and automatically downshift in the right second, improving the efficiency of diesel engines by 6% to 8%.
Other technologies supported by Tele atlas 'ultra
An accurate map will include a lane departure warning for sleepy drivers and an adaptive headlights that know the corner is coming.
The data required by the next generation of navigation devices will exceed the data collected by vans.
Tele Atlas obtains information from many sources, including state transportation and utilities, and uses algorithms to arbitrate conflicts.
Google launched a map-making service in June that allows people to upload location data to its website.
Initially, such services were provided only in countries with few data, such as Caribbean countries, Cyprus and Pakistan.
TomTom and Nokia have users suggest modifying maps on their devices. In fast-
Jonathon Husby, vice president of Teleatlas, said that in growing cities like Las Vegas and Phoenix, teleatlas needs to deal with changes in road mileage of up to 40% kilometers per year.
The orange van will continue.
"I laughed when I heard you could make the map individually through community input," said De Taeye, founder of Tele Atlas . ".
If thousands of users travel without complaining, then Tele Atlas can be fairly certain that its road map is correct, he said.