For TomTom, every year kicks off with the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. This is where the technologies of tomorrow are first revealed to the world, making it a perfect place for us to show how we envision the future of mobility – and how we are making it a reality.
TomTom data enables us to provide highly accurate and real-time maps for the automotive industry and developers alike. With 21 billion data points added each day, it is this kind of insane precision that enables us to create maps detailed enough that they can even be used for autonomous driving.
In this article, we’ll look at our map-making process to understand how we can consistently deliver accuracy down to the centimeter to our customers.
The real in real-time
Every year, a high volume of roads change. Speed limits are updated, businesses come and go, new streets are built and other are renamed. Reality is a roller coaster, and the challenge for mapmakers is to keep up with it. In order to deliver maps that reflect reality as accurately as possible, these changes need to be processed in the shortest amount of time.
To achieve this, TomTom invented a proprietary, continuously integrated map-making platform, able to deliver a continuously up-to-date map.
This platform enables us to quickly close the loop between the moment a change is detected in the real world to updating the map on a user’s device to a version that reflects this change.
How do we do this?
There isn’t one single method used for detecting change, but rather a combination of sources. We work with Authoritative sources such as local governments and road authorities to understand planned changes, we use our global community of connected devices to detect changes that were perhaps unplanned. These changes are fused to ensure the most accurate reflection of reality.
Next, we select only the part of the map that is impacted by the change. We update the map and conduct a live quality check that assures accuracy. We then merge the changed piece back into the map as an incremental update. Because this quality assured process is transactional, the map database is continuously releasable.
Let’s go through these steps:
The more users drive using our technology, the more accurate the driving experience. With almost a billion people using TomTom maps in devices around the world, drivers who choose to share map feedback with us help improve the quality of our data. Each month, we receive hundreds of thousands of consumer reports.
Whether from our own or partner devices, this data consists of billions of probe traces from 600 million connected devices every day.
Through a combination of professional map-making methods and community input, we have perfected a hybrid approach that ensures both efficiency and accuracy through fast cycle-times and quality assurance.
Data is received and processed to produce changes. We match probe-derived geometry daily against our maps, often referring to sources such as imagery to help with validation. Using community input also helps us to more smartly plan our mobile mapping van routes to achieve more in less time.
We process millions of real-world changes every week, this is done end-to-end, from detection to quality assurance. Users then receive incremental updates that are sent with a high accuracy-confidence and fast cycle-times.
Continuously releasable map database
A continuously releasable database enables us to deliver the quickest updates to the user. Real-time quality assurance ensures that only trusted changes be incorporated into a database that is always globally complete and seamless.
Incremental map updates
Users get real-time and easy access to maps through several map delivery formats that are capable of incremental map updates for all features.
Video: Probe Traces, Las Vegas
MultiNet-R delivers all the high-quality content layers of the TomTom map database in a single and easy-to-use relational database model.
As an industry leader in the adoption of the Navigation Data Standard (NDS), TomTom offers modular, plug-and-play runtime maps ready for use in NDS software applications.
Our API's provides streaming maps with total flexibility and access to the latest possible map changes.
Covering the world
Our maps move the world forward every day. They cover over 62 million kilometers of navigable roads in 153 countries and 33 territories.
More than three million kilometers are driven by mobile mapping vans each year.
Through our innovative, proprietary, transactional map-making platform, TomTom provides extremely accurate and up-to-date maps that enable our customers to make smarter mobility decisions every day.
Do you want to learn more? Get in touch.
Andy Marchant product marketing Tom Tom Maps