Dutch mapmaker TomTom has recently announced it would expand and deepen its existing partnership in high-definition mapping with German auto parts manufacturer Robert Bosch.
The reason for the interesting alliance is twofold – and both directions are well served since Bosch is the world’s biggest automotive supplier. First and foremost, mapping technology is forecasted to play a key role in the upcoming rising segment of autonomous vehicles. Second, TomTom has been left behind by Nokia’s Here when it comes to securing automotive clients and needs to come up strong from behind now the Finnish unit is being sold – possibly to a consortium of the German luxury triumvirate, BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz. TomTom and Bosch announced on Tuesday they would further tweak their services by adding new layers of data to their maps. “By the end of 2015 we want to have new high-precision maps for automated driving for all freeways and freeway-like roads in Germany,” commented Jan Maarten de Vries, TomTom’s vice-president of automotive operations.
TomTom also reported its latest quarterly results on Tuesday, which were a little stronger than initially anticipated, with the Dutch company in charge of designing the maps and Bosch providing assistance in defining the required specifications. From then on, the partners will expand road coverage to include the rest of Europe and North America, according to Bosch. Bosch board member Dirk Hoheisel added automated driving needs multi-layered high-definition maps to become possible on freeways from 2020. The new maps will include a “localization layer” and a “planning layer” for driverless cars to know their exact position on the road when compared to the high-definition map data and the numbers crunched by on-board sensors.