The Dutch navigation company, TomTom, is now looking to be a provider of technology for nothing else but autonomous cars in an attempt to get back on the success track after seven not so productive years according to its CEO, Harold Goddijn.
The modernization of Tom Tom’s digital mapping architecture rests on a change the auto division has seen, which led to big contracts for the past months for the company, better predictions from analysts and a 40% increase in the brand’s shares.
Goddijn stated that automakers regard TomTom as one of the few other companies besides Google that can provide location data well and fast enough in order to meet the safety requirements for computer assisted driving and then further on, for self-driving cars.
TomTom, one of the few global consumer electronics companies to come out of Europe at the beginning of 2000, started sliding after it overpaid for digital map maker TeleAtlas in 2008. The market for its personal navigation devices abruptly declined back then, with prices going down because cheaper competitors entered a market that was already saturated for dashboard-mounted GPS systems and also because smart phone navigation apps provided a cheaper solution.
Since the navigation-device market seems to be getting balanced back again, Goddijn believes that TomTom’s other business ventures are going to prosper as well. Analysts have also shown enthusiasm with regards to TomTom’s trajectory as it had won two contracts with Volkswagen this year and also a number of deals with Fiat, Hyundai and South Korea’s Kia.
By Gabriela Florea