TomTom gets into the driverless car game

By Priya Kantaria

TomTom made its name with GPS car navigation products in the 2000s, but now the Dutch company is collaborating with automotive components manufacturers DENSO and Delphi Technologies on autonomous vehicles.

It hopes to accelerate the development of driverless cars by putting the TomTom High Definition (HD) Map to work with DENSO’s in-vehicle sensors – cameras and radars, to power localisation, perception and path planning functions.

TomTom chief executive officer Harold Goddijn said: “This collaboration proves the value of the TomTom HD Map and TomTom AutoStream as critical components for autonomous vehicles.”

The TomTom Autostream is a map delivery system getting the latest map data to vehicles on demand.

Its HD Map is the first to cover highways and interstates across the US, Western Europe, Japan and South Korea.

TomTom’s collaboration with DENSO

Sensor data from DENSO will be combined with TomTom’s mapping system and advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) to update TomTom’s HD Map on the go.

Crowdsourced map updates called Roadagrams will make sure the HD Map reflects the reality of the road.

The collaboration will lead to Level 2 automation for cars on highways and major urban roads.

Goddijn said: “DENSO is a long-time leader in automotive ADAS technology. We’re proud to be working with them to serve their Japanese and global customers.”

TomTom shares a commitment to safety

DENSO executive vice president Hiroyuki Wakabayashi said: “We reviewed various digital mapping platforms and determined that the TomTom HD Map and TomTom AutoStream reflect our vision of bringing changes in the road noted by our sensors back to all vehicles as quickly as possible through HD Map updates.

“Just as importantly, TomTom shares our commitment to safety that is paramount to the autonomous driving experience. Together, we will lead the industry with innovative solutions for all [original equipment manufacturers].”

Delphi will provide controls that use real-time mapping data to predict changing driving conditions – route infrastructure, topography, traffic congestion and weather, to improve fuel efficiency, reduce emissions and shorten commute times.

Delphi Technologies chief technology officer Mary Gustanski said: “Smart propulsion solutions are the next logical step in transportation. Our collaboration with TomTom will help us to find new opportunities to integrate more information about a driver’s route, in order to enhance our proprietary Intelligent Driving controls and allow vehicles to drive better, cleaner and further.”