New worldwide standard format makes navigation systems more flexible: PTV AG actively involved in the development of the Physical Storage Format

New standard format for basic navigation and telematics functions / incremental map update refreshes selected map segments / PTV shares expertise gained from developing its own map format

Karlsruhe - February 11, 2008 - PTV is a partner and system supplier of the PSF Initiative which focuses on the development of the Physical Storage Format (PSF). The consortium consists of 19 industry-leading car manufacturers and system and map suppliers who work together to create a standardised map format for basic car navigation and telematics functions. The aim is to provide maps more quickly and easily. Car navigation data have been available for different devices, using different formats making it both costly and time-consuming to update and exchange the map data. The new harmonised format is meant
to eliminate costly format conversion.

One important PSF ingredient is incremental map updating allowing the user to refresh single map segments, which means that only a small amount of data must be transmitted. It is no longer necessary to update the entire data volume. Up-to-date information about new streets or roads and short-term detours can easily be included in the car navigation system. Further map content from third-party providers, such as points of interest (POI), speed limits or roadworks, can dynamically be included, either online or via mobile communication. The map data consists of different layers so that the information can
easily be integrated.

PTV has developed a map format which is specifically designed for these applications. It is used in car navigation and telematics, and supports new developments such as satellite-based toll collection systems. The software company brings a wealth of experience in the development of the so-called Scalable Map Architecture (SMA) as well as concepts of its own map format to the consortium. PTV provides financial and technical support in order to assist the consortium in creating a harmonised and standardised format. The company also continues to develop its own map format which is gradually adapted to the new standard format.

Since 2004, the members of the PSF initiative have been working together to create a standardised format for both in-vehicle and mobile navigation systems. In addition to improved update capabilities the new format offers numerous advantages. One such advantage allows new media to be flexibly integrated.

Dr.-Ing. Hans Hubschneider, the speaker of the PTV board, points out that the result will be advantageous to all motorists: "The customers will benefit from improved car navigation systems at lower prices!"

More information

PSF initiative:
PTV's scalable map architecture:

The PSF initiative

The PSF initiative consists of 19 car manufacturers, system and map suppliers. The members have been developing a new standardised map data format since 2004. The aim of the so-called Physical Storage Format (PSF) is to standardize data formats, to make map updating easier, to dynamically link map data and to embed new media into navigation systems. The members of the PSF initiative are BMW Group, Daimler, Renault, Volkswagen, ADIT, Aisin AW, Alpine, Bosch/Blaupunkt, DENSO, Harman Becker, Mitsubishi Electric, Navigon, Panasonic, PTV, Siemens VDO, Xanavi, Navteq, TeleAtlas and Zenrin.

PTV Planung Transport Verkehr AG

The PTV Group provides cutting-edge software technology and consulting to enable customers to meet their mobility needs. It helps people plan and manage traffic and transportation, provides them with the latest traffic reports and assists them in optimising their long- term resource allocation. Since 1979, the independent corporate group has been a leading provider of products and solutions for travel, traffic and transportation planning.

Strong international demand has fuelled dynamic growth: PTV currently has over 700 employees worldwide crafting innovative solutions for our customers. The Karlsruhe headquarters acts as a development and innovation centre with tight links to research and educational institutions. Additionally PTV maintains shareholdings and subsidiaries in Germany, Europe and every continent in the world.

In the Traffic, Mobility and Logistics business fields, PTV technology forms the foundation of a host of brand-name products and our own leading map&guide and PTV Vision product lines.

Innovative software solutions and map technologies are the Mobility business field's stock-in-trade. Its know-how drives a wide range of GPS-based telematics applications, geographic Internet applications and route planning tools. And its extensive experience in onboard and online navigation is second to none in the field.


Kristina Stifter
Director Corporate Communications, PTV
Planung Transport Verkehr AG
Stumpfstr. 1
76131 Karlsruhe
Tel.: +49-721-9651-0

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