TomTom launches Traffic service and forms new partnership in Japan

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Netherlands-based navigation technology company TomTom is expanding its footprint in Japan with the launch of its Traffic travel information service and a collaboration with Zenrin, the Japanese market leader in mapping and navigation.

TomTom’s introduction of Traffic in Japan extends the service’s reach to 69 countries with a combined population of more than five billion people. TomTom Traffic has been introduced to an additional 16 countries so far in 2017, and the service is expected to be launched in several additional countries in the coming months. The continuous growth is supported by the supply of source data it receives from over 500 million connected devices, with real-time information collected from smartphones, cars and portable navigation devices providing GPS data points.

The Traffic service covers secondary and surface roads, offering broad coverage, low latency and high GPS probe density. The service offers up-to-date travel information, such as traffic jams and congestion, and also uses self-generated incident messages for road closures, roadworks and accidents. TomTom is increasingly providing Lane-Level Traffic, a feature that is critical to autonomous driving. Already able to detect traffic on different lanes at junctions, Traffic can now also differentiate between traffic flow on high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes and regular lanes. As well as providing information for drivers, the Traffic service is being increasingly used by cities and road authorities to monitor, analyze and influence their networks.

Zenrin produce Japan’s most detailed, accurate and richly attributed digital maps that can be used for navigation, geocoding, routing driver assistance, visualization and search, allowing users to make smarter mobility decisions. The company’s collaboration with TomTom, will give it access to the Dutch company’s traffic services and high definition (HD) maps for autonomous driving, to deliver a powerful combination of services for the future of driving in Japan.

“Traffic congestion remains a major problem for many countries around the world, particularly in larger metropolitan areas, such as in Japan,” noted Ralf-Peter Schäfer, VP for TomTom Traffic. “With rapid developments in autonomous driving and an increased focus on smarter cities and intelligent transportation, accurate and fresh traffic information is playing an increasingly important role.”

Hideyuki Fujisawa, senior executive officer of Zenrin, said, “With the collaboration, we will accelerate the development of services to deliver high-quality traffic information in real time. Our goal is to contribute and to fulfil the needs of an IoT society, providing innovative new mobility services by creating a high-value-added map platform.”

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International magazine and the Traffic Technology Today website since he joined the company in May 2014. Prior to this he worked on some of the UK's leading consumer magazine titles including Men's Health and Glamour, beginning his career in journalism in 1997 after graduating with a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).

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