Location and location awareness are increasingly relevant to everyone today and to the things they use today. In a connected world, people demand maps that are accurate and up-to-date, and which can be seamlessly integrated across automotive, mobile and location-based applications. Future use cases, such as automated driving, will require significantly more detailed and more accurate maps than are available today.

Expectations will continue to grow for a map that perfectly reflects the real-world. This will lead to new opportunities to create cutting edge software and technology. For example, we expect to see the development of map use cases in the area of Highly Automated Driving, where connected cars will be equipped with real-time maps that are used with sensors to navigate without human input.

The challenge is to deliver the highest quality and most detailed real-time maps to facilitate this vision, by handling the huge volumes of real-world changes automatically reported by remote in-car sensors and connected devices while minimising the time between detecting changes in the real world and updating the map on the end user's device or platform. 

Intelligent map-making

TomTom's hybrid map-making approach

TomTom invented and perfected a highly efficient hybrid approach that combines professional map-making methods with community input and has a focus on fast cycle times and quality assurance.

Through this hybrid approach, we tap into local teams of highly skilled map technicians located in more than 40 countries and a fleet of mobile mapping vans that drive the streets every day.

We also have a growing community of hundreds of millions of users, who share map feedback with us as changes in the real world are detected.

We receive more than 200,000 consumer reports monthly and our database of anonymous GPS measurements contains over 12 trillion data points.

In addition, we continue to explore new sensor data, as cars become more and more connected, to further extend our pool of intelligent map-making data. We believe that this hybrid map-making approach allows us to deliver highly accurate global maps more quickly.

TomTom's transactional map-making engine

At TomTom we believe we are uniquely positioned to address future needs for highly accurate maps that are always up-to-date. Since 2011, we have been working on the redesign and development of our map-making technology. We aim to create a transactional map-making engine for the future use cases of maps that would optimise professional and community input map-making techniques, and also would be able to handle the vast amounts of data coming from a growing number of connected devices and remote sensors, and deliver map changes in near real-time back to user's devices.

TomTom's 'closed loop' map-making process

In 2014, we made substantial progress with the first version of our transactional map-making engine, that will provide incremental map updates, enabling near real-time maps.

Our new transactional map-making engine enables a change to pass through our closed loop process end-to-end, be quality assured in real-time, and end up in the product in a matter of days, hours and eventually minutes, fulfilling a key requirement for real-time maps.

We believe TomTom will be unique in the industry in being able to offer such a transactional map-making engine with high quality assurance and fast cycle times.

Our new map-making engine will enable TomTom to deliver real-time incremental map updates to customers via fast and frictionless map distribution mechanisms, which include Navigation Data Standard (NDS), Multinet-R and our Map Content API.

Highly Automated Driving (HAD)

With Advanced Driving Assistance Systems (ADAS) content, the overall driver experience is improved

The automotive industry is set to continue to develop higher quality and more accurate map content through in-car sensors to improve overall driver safety, increase fuel efficiency, provide business critical insight and deliver automated movement.

Delivering an up-to-date map with near real-time updates, that contains advanced driving attributes covering lanes, speeds, gradient, curvature, height, and advanced geometry, will give drivers a more detailed view of the road ahead.

The strength of our technology in this area has resulted in TomTom becoming a key partner for important strategic collaborations for Advanced Driving Assistance Systems and Highly Automated Driving research in 2014.

Business outlook

In 2014, we launched our new map format, MultiNet-R. In 2015, we aim to deliver monthly full feature incremental updates through MultiNet-R. With our new engine, we aim to realise greater efficiency and map performance, allowing TomTom to deliver new levels of quality, faster.