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TomTom is using NDS to keep maps up to date

20. July 2023

Do you know situations like this? On the way to your holiday or across a brand-new highway interchange, the navigation system’s arrow suddenly appears “lost in orbit.” Even though you are undoubtedly on a road, the arrow seems to wander through nothing. This happens mostly when the last map update was a while ago or the car is already getting on in years. Wishing you had the navigation aids that might help. When relying on autonomous driving capabilities you expect only the best. Since your safety, family and friends travelling with you is our priority. That’s why it’s increasingly important to keep software systems, data, and maps up to date. It’s no coincidence that TomTom, the specialist in geolocation technologies and one of the world’s most prominent mapmakers is an NDS member. As an industry leader in the adoption of the Navigation Data Standard (NDS), TomTom offers modular, plug-and-play runtime maps that are ready for use in NDS-based software applications. To optimize the user journey and support automation of vehicles, TomTom offers modular, plug-and-play runtime maps which have proven to work seamlessly with numerous NDS-based software applications. TomTom includes API streaming services in product offering for applications who require most up-to-date map, relevant content and total flexibility.

With 61 billion GPS data points collected every day, TomTom guarantees highest standards and precision of its data. This is just one of the basic components for creating maps that are so detailed that they can be used for autonomous driving – without compromising safety.

Did you know: In the ranking of the world’s largest road networks, Germany is in 13th place with around 630,000 kilometers. The largest road networks are in the USA, India, China, and Brazil. The German highway network covers around 13,200 kilometers. Figures like these are constantly changing as the number of streets, roads, highways, and byways grows. Not to forget new speed limits or name changes. That’s why map developers must always keep an eye on developments and incorporate all changes as quickly as possible. With NDS, this is much easier.

With the help of the TomTom platform, it is possible to quickly transfer changing road conditions in the real world to the map display. Source: Pexels

Focus on highets possible precision

TomTom has developed an end-to-end integrated map creation platform that can deliver reliable and up-to-date maps all the time. With the help of this platform, it is possible to quickly transfer changing road conditions in the real world to a map update.

Using a multi-source approach, TomTom combines data from survey vehicles, GPS tracks, input from municipalities, government sources, and vehicle sensor data to create maps that have the highest level of attribution, accuracy, and maintenance, meaning their accuracy will not degrade over time. For example, the company partners with local governments and road agencies to understand planned changes. Also helpful are the 600 million networked devices worldwide.

For any update, only the part of the map affected by the change is selected. Navigation experts update the map and perform a live quality check to ensure accuracy. They then add the changed portion back into the map as an incremental update. Since this quality-assured process is transactional, the map database can be continuously released.

This is what map updates are all about:

Intelligent map creation: Professional map development methods and community input enable a hybrid approach that provides efficiency, accuracy, and fast cycle times.

Data reconciliation: TomTom reconciles probe-derived geometry with maps on a daily basis. Input from the community helps to plan the routes of the mobile mapping vehicles more intelligently. These vehicles cover more than three million kilometers every year.

Big data: The more users, the more accurate the driving experience. With nearly one billion people using TomTom maps worldwide, hundreds of thousands of drivers providing map feedback help improve data quality.

Sensor power: Delivering billions of readings collected daily from 600 million connected devices.

Map database: A constantly updatable database allows to provide users with the fastest updates. This is complemented by real-time quality assurance.

Incremental map updates: Users get easy, real-time access to maps through multiple map delivery formats that enable incremental map updates for all features.

Since NDS is supporting incremental map updates, vehicles can download them “over-the-air”, using a data connection, globally available soon.

You can find more information about TomTom’s innovative mapping platform here:


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