TomTom has announced a new map, mapping platform, and collaborative ecosystem that will be offered together under its new TomTom Maps Platform. With the product, the automotive technology supplier expects to set a new standard for mapmaking, while supporting the future of location-based technologies and open industry collaboration. In citing the need for the platform, the company highlighted the role of advanced mapping functions (including regular OTA map updates and POI information) in EVs, EV infrastructure, and high-level ADAS today and their importance in future vehicle innovations.
In terms of its output, the platform has three objectives – enhance the geographical coverage, support more data types, and improve map update cycles. While the company’s new map and development platform will help achieve these objectives, they will be greatly supported by a detailed location data ecosystem – which TomTom intends to develop into a large, diverse, pool of geolocation data providers.
In building this ecosystem, TomTom will draw on data brought in from a variety of super sources – including open-source data (from OpenStreetMap, for example), probe data, and sensor derived observations, as well as data sourced from a pool of company partners. These super sources bring in large volumes of data, with a high level of accuracy, at a cost advantage over traditional collection methods. Once this data is compiled, it is then integrated into TomTom’s process for mapmaking – where it is used to identify how and where map changes need to be made.
Following this process, the converted map data is output in several formats that can be utilized by a diverse range of businesses. This new data is integrated into a base map that the platform’s users can build on top of to create use case-specific maps. Users will also be able to help update this base map by identifying new developments in their area and introducing them to the map. A ringfenced approach to this process allows the company to keep any business-critical data private, one example being a new road that is also a popular pick-up location at a specific time.
The collaborative nature of this ecosystem works to fulfil its core objectives to create a detailed, accurate, record of ground truth and share it openly with users in the data pool. TomTom has said that this approach will relieve companies of the commitments and concerns involved in the development and continued maintenance of their own maps. Further benefits come from the platform’s leveraging of AI and machine-learning systems that allow for more changes to be made in a smaller period of time, resulting in quicker, more accurate, map updates.
TomTom’s new map and mapping platform are currently in development, with the company testing both alongside a range of partners ahead of a Q2 2023 launch. The company will reveal the first round of partners working on the platform in the coming months. Over the next year, TomTom plans to expand its partner network, build a pool of collaborative data sources, collect more data, expand geographical coverage, and refine its APIs and SDKs. As the TomTom Maps Platform rolls out, the company expects the product to enable entry into new markets and support a targeted location technology revenue of €600 million ($585.2 million) by 2025.