- Automotive & Licensing
Automotive & Licensing
Our Automotive & Licensing business provides maps and map-based components for customers to integrate into their applications. Our product portfolio includes live map feeds including traffic, APIs for search and routing, device software and supporting products.
Maps have long been used as a navigation guide for travellers and explorers. For the last years however, the usage and development of maps has taken an incredible leap forward. With everyone and everything becoming connected, location and mobility information is more relevant and important than ever before. With this increased reliance on maps, comes an increase in expectations of the use cases the map has to support, how up-to-date it is and the level of detail needed within it.
We can see this evolution in the different map layers of the TomTom's map product portfolio. Starting from the road network and street name layers for the early navigation maps, to point-of-interest (POI) layers, 3D layers and others, for more advanced search and navigation experiences to the HD map and RoadDNA layers that will enable Autonomous Driving in the future.
TomTom deploys intelligent mapmaking to deliver accurate and up-to-date maps. We invented a highly efficient hybrid approach that combines professional mapmaking methods with community input. Through this mapmaking approach, we tap into local teams of skilled map technicians located in more than 40 countries, a fleet of mobile mapping vans that drive the streets every day and our growing community of hundreds of millions of data sources. With nearly half a billion sources generating millions of kilometres of probe data each day we have access to the largest live probe network out there. In addition, we continue to explore new sensor data as cars become more and more connected, to further extend our pool of hybrid mapmaking data.
Making maps means dealing with big data and this requires an advanced map production platform. We continuously invest in our state-of-the-art transactional map production platform that allows us to rapidly close the loop between detecting changes in the real world and updating the map. This platform deploys automation and artificial intelligence to achieve short cycle times, efficiency and the right quality levels. Productivity of our map product platform will be key to the future of mapmaking where more data will have to be processed faster than ever before to meet the expectations of ever expanding use cases.
From creating one of the first digital maps in the world, to harnessing the power of community input, and more recently the developments such as our traffic sign categorisation artificial intelligence.
The innovation will not stop there; in 2017, we will further increase the productivity of our production system through automated multi-source map fusion and machine learning, further improve our cycle times to bring the most up-to-date maps to our users and bring new class-leading map layers to the market.
TOMTOM'S LEADING MAPMAKING TECHNOLOGIES ALLOW US TO RAPIDLY DETECT CHANGES HAPPENING IN REALITY and shorten the time for these changes to be reflected in our maps, continuously pushing the boundary towards the most real-time maps
With these maps, TomTom is empowering users to make smarter mobility decisions from simple decisions such as how to navigate to the airport as quickly and efficiently as possible, or calculating the most accurate driving range of your electric vehicle. Also more complex decisions can be made in a smarter way, such as how to change a city's infrastructure to accommodate the mobility of a growing population, and in the future mobility decisions for the Internet of Things.
We generally categorise the applications that use our maps into four groups:
- Analytics: the map is used as a structuring mechanism for data sets of other data, such as marketing data or government population data. The end user is nearly always a business. An example is determining the best location for a shop, based on overlaying population and traffic data on a map. There are many examples in this category where people do not realise that a map is used to make decisions.
- Display, search and navigation: the map is used to answer questions such as 'Where am I?' 'Where is a certain address or place?' and 'How do I get to the place I want to be?'. The end user is very often a consumer. Examples are maps and navigation apps for mobile phones.
- ADAS: the map is used to power functions that make driving easier, more efficient and safer. Examples are drive-train optimisation based on gradient and height, and adaptive light control to see further into the corner based on curvature data in the map.
- Autonomous Driving: the map is used in providing detailed data about the vicinity of the car to help the Autonomous Driving software make decisions. An example is very precise (decimetres) localisation based on sensor data and the HD map.
Autonomous Driving is set to transform our lives: it is expected to save lives through safer mobility, it will shift from private vehicle ownership to mobility services, and it will free up parking spaces in our cramped cities. TomTom is right at the heart of this technology trend with its products for autonomous vehicles.
Autonomous Driving is about replacing human drivers with robotic drivers. Humans use their senses, brains and limbs to drive. This is changing to sensors, computers and actuators.
Many companies are working in each of these fields to turn Autonomous Driving into a reality, cooperating to solve the challenges that Autonomous Driving brings. We bring several components to the table.
First of all, TomTom's traditional strengths in navigation and traffic information are as important as they ever were for autonomous vehicles. They are the starting point for every autonomous drive: an autonomous car needs to know what route to drive and needs to ensure it avoids traffic jams where it can. The traffic feed is already used today to deliver up-to-the-second information beyond traffic as well, for example for road closures, accidents and hazardous situations.
Secondly, we have our HD map product. The HD map is a recording of the world made under ideal circumstances with superhuman sensors. HD maps are used in autonomous cars to improve safety and comfort. The HD map can be likened to a drone constantly flying over your head, telling the driver what is coming. In situations with dense traffic, poor visibility because of the weather, or at larger distances, the HD map is critical to ensure a safe ride. It allows the driver to see through the car in front or ahead to the next exit or beyond the next corner.
This is not only safer, it is also more comfortable, because decisions can be taken earlier and this reduces abrupt braking or last-minute lane changes.
When using HD maps, it is critical to have reliable localisation. GPS is not good enough, it is accurate to 10-20 metres when driving. It struggles to put the car on the right side of the road, let alone the right lane. TomTom has invented RoadDNA as an HD map layer to enable decimetre-level positioning. TomTom uses highly compressed pictures of the road surroundings which are compared in the car with what the sensors see. By matching the two, the car's position is precisely determined.
Cities already face severe mobility challenges, and as the tendency to live in cities increases, the traffic challenges are also becoming greater. According to the TomTom Traffic Index, drivers in London for example can expect to spend 38% of their travel time stuck in traffic at any time of the day, and up to 45% in evening peak periods. These delays add the equivalent of more than 18 extra working days travelling per year. Smarter and more efficient solutions are required to deal with traffic planning and control in order to organise safer, greener and more comfortable mobility in cities. TomTom believes that governments, automotive companies, service providers and drivers can reduce congestion dramatically by cooperating more closely, and is actively working towards solutions that will enable this goal to be achieved. The future is collaborative!
TomTom's flagship service, TomTom Traffic, has been continuously expanding its coverage reaching 54 countries in the beginning of 2017, spanning all continents. We have come a long way to position TomTom as a global leader of traffic and traffic information services. During the last 10 years, TomTom has created a comprehensive product portfolio for traffic and travel information as well as road data analytics to help improve mobility and provide solutions for better decision-making in transportation.
The success of its traffic incident and congestion service is largely explained by the growing community of half a billion data sources, which generate over 10 billion anonymous speed measurements every day. The community provides the source data that is fused to provide precise and up-to-date traffic information for highways, major roads and secondary roads on a global scale. We provide highly accurate measurements of traffic jams and delays for better route calculation, which helps drivers to make better decisions to save time on their journeys.
To complement the more mature traffic, innovative features and products such as speed cameras, off-street parking, weather and fuel price information services have been added to the portfolio. In 2016, we also announced on-street parking. The initial launch of the on-street parking service includes parking probabilities and search time information in a number of cities in Western Europe, such as Paris, Madrid and London. We intend to expand this service with restrictions and pricing information – all aimed to relieve the omnipresent stressful urban parking experiences.
The whole portfolio of services is used widely across many smart mobility platforms and use cases by automotive OEMs, smartphone manufacturers and 'mobility app' makers, government organisations and a wealth of additional B2B and B2C users.
In 2016, TomTom also announced the TomTom City web-based platform that provides live and historical traffic and travel information services to help transport and mobility stakeholders. The open-access portal showcases TomTom's capabilities to monitor, analyse and display an extensive range of information such as the current traffic situation or the worst bottleneck areas in each city. This platform will allow drivers and traffic management professionals increasingly to understand the situation and manage journeys accordingly.
THIS PLATFORM IS SET TO GROW IN THE COMING YEARS, extending to a full suite of traffic management tools to analyse the road situation in the fastest possible way and also influence driver's behaviour
A new generation of live map services
Today, the rise of the Connected Car, Smart Mobility and Autonomous Driving triggers the need for a new generation of connected services largely enabled by a collaborative community and new sources of vehicle sensors data.
Collaboration is key. The popularity of the TomTom services drives the volume of source data as anonymous passive community input, such as location trace data and sensor data, and active community input, such as confirmation of speed camera locations, is collected in conjunction with providing services. This source data is the assurance of an extensive, high-quality, portfolio of services in the coming years. By harvesting car sensor data, commonly referred to as extended floating car data (xFCD), in addition to the location trace information, TomTom will add services to cover new use cases such as road safety (e.g. hyper-local road weather service) and Autonomous Driving (e.g. lane-level traffic incidents).
From the day we invented the PND category we have continuously invested in delivering the best navigation experience. End of 2016, we have provided our navigation software to over 100 million users, directly through our consumer business and indirectly through our other business units. We continue to learn from those users, through active and passive feedback, and improve our products accordingly.
Brought-in navigation is playing an increasingly important role, and our products are fit for purpose. Besides our own smartphone applications, in June we announced Volkswagen's release of a brought-in navigation application powered by NavKit, our navigation engine. In-dash navigation remains relevant as well. We expect that in five years from now around 25 million cars will be sold with embedded navigation globally and we will continue to invest in developing products that are relevant and easy to integrate in a vehicle context.
One of our strategic objectives is to adopt relevant industry standards. We have updated APIs for connected services such as Traffic and Speed Cameras. This further eases the integration of our products in an automotive connected navigation system. The NavKit navigation engine based on Navigation Data Standard (NDS) has been enhanced with features such as destination prediction and route learning. The user experience for incrementally updating the NDS maps in the system has also improved, which can now be done in the background, so the driver can continue to use the navigation system while this happens.
We also made great progress with the architectural renewal of NavKit. Our map matcher, the component that derives the actual position on the road from raw GPS and car sensor input, is no longer considering just the actual data, but also takes historic path data into account. This improves the map matching quality, giving a better user experience.
Another strategic goal is to become a global navigation supplier. We have further increased our footprint to navigable coverage in 163 countries and territories, by adding support for Arabic, Albanian, Serbian, Romanian, Indonesian, Hebrew, Latin and Chinese countries. We have also started the development of Korean and Japanese features. Once those are in place, we will have reached our goal and will have a navigation engine, with a software development kit (SDK) and a set of APIs, to provide navigation around the world.
Our online capabilities have been further enhanced throughout the year. Our Online Routing API now supports truck routing, as well as eco routing and range calculations based on dynamic consumption data from the vehicle, which is especially relevant for Electric Vehicles.
In the third quarter of 2016, we won the TIOBE Software Quality award for mid-sized projects (more than 100,000 lines of code) for our new map visualisation component with an all-time top score of 99.77%. In addition, NDS NavKit was second in the large-sized projects (more than one million lines of code) category. These awards demonstrate TomTom's continued efforts to build great software and improve software quality to a world-class standard.
OUR NEW MAP VISUALISATION WILL BRING A SMOOTHER MAP BROWSING EXPERIENCE- including planning, zooming, rotating and tilting, scalability to multiple displays, moving lane guidance, and more
In self-driving cars, the navigation system gets a different function. For instance, instead of receiving guidance instructions for every manoeuvre along the route, people in the car will be more interested in getting an abstracted understanding of the trip. Until cars can drive autonomously everywhere, the navigation system will calculate routes that are optimised for Autonomous Driving, so the driver can take his hands off the wheel as long as possible.
When approaching a route segment where Autonomous Driving is not feasible, the driver needs to get informed that a switch to manual mode is forthcoming. Finally, NavKit will be integrated with camera-based lane detection systems and with TomTom's RoadDNA technology to enable lane-level positioning, lane planning and lane guidance. Extending support for ADAS and Autonomous Driving, our navigation components will continue to play an important role in future cars.