TomTom to manage smart cities’ traffic

TomTom, the listed Amsterdam-based biggie in making GPS navigation and digital mapping products, is eying $7 billion earmarked for the Modi government’s first 20 smart cities under construction in the country to sell its GPS navigation systems for efficient traffic management.

The Smart City Mission of the central government is banking on PPPs as the primary vehicle to raise money for construction 100 smart cities across Indian in phases.

On Thursday the Euro 987 million (about Rs 7,106 crore) company inaugurated its latest Traffic Centre at its Centre of Excellence in Pune. Employing over 900 software engineers, it is the second largest research and development centre after Amsterdam with 1,000 employees. Berlin has 750.

“The Traffic Centre in Pune is part of TomTom’s global network of Traffic Centres, showcasing TomTom’s intelligent technology for traffic and travel management,” Alain De Taeye, member of Management Board at TomTom told Financial Chronicle.

It demonstrates how TomTom turns data into actionable insights that can help traffic city planners and inhabitants make smarter decisions, reducing road congestion and enhancing mobility in cities, he pointed.

“As our largest site outside of Amsterdam, Pune contributes significantly to our map and traffic products, enabling cities to realise their smart cities vision,” he pointed out.

At present, TomTom has its GPS navigation system in place monitoring live traffic flow 24/7 in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore and Pune. 

Taeye said the company had developed global intelligent technology to support smart mobility in cities. The system predicts traffic jam, how much time it will take to clear traffic jam and help plan your travel, he said, adding that it also enables road authorities to inform road users about events affecting road traffic.

TomTom covers 2.1 billion km for traffic data every day through globally connected devises to provide smart solutions for easy flow of traffic. TomTom competes with Google Maps and Garmin worldwide, among others.

“Our technology costs a fraction of the infrastructure investment,” he said, adding that the company spent Euro 280 million on research and development last year.

“Our location technology business grew 15 per cent worldwide and it will continue to grow,” Taeye said.

“Every day we work with innovative mapmaking technologies and engineering innovations such as TomTom’s HD Map with RoadDNA - our next-generation location technology for autonomous driving, while crunching Big Data through artificial intelligence to generate predictive traffic intelligence,” Dhanashree Rajopadhye, director software engineering at TomTom India said.

“The Traffic Centre showcases our maps and traffic which are derived by our proprietary data fusion engine from trillions of GPS measurements, every minute of the day,” she pointed out.