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TomTom & Cisco Developing Traffic Technology for Autonomous Cars

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【Summary】TomTom announced today it is developing ultra-fast lane level traffic technology supporting autonomous driving and smarter mobility. The research will be done with Cisco using roadside data captured by Cisco’s array of sensors, routers and controllers to create the next generation of traffic information technology.

Original Eric Walz    Jul 06, 2017 3:00 PM PT
TomTom & Cisco Developing Traffic Technology for Autonomous Cars

TomTom announced today it is developing ultra-fast lane level traffic technology supporting autonomous driving and smarter mobility.

The research will be done in cooperation with Cisco to leverage roadside data captured by Cisco's array of sensors, routers and controllers to create the next generation of traffic information technology. The research combines Cisco's data with TomTom's traffic fusion technology and expertise, supported by Cisco's Internet of Things (IoT) platform.

Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS) Technology

One innovative part of this cooperation is the use of Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS) technology, which has the ability to convert a fiber optic cable into an array of virtual microphones that detect and measure vehicle movements.  

The DAS technology works by firing a laser down a fiber optic cable along a roadway and measuring any disturbance to the laser and analyzing it to create a series of microphones every 30ft (10m). This compares to the existing system that can only monitor traffic which is spaced out over hundreds of feet. DAS can therefore eliminate blind spots and also reduce the response time in the event of an incident, by pinpointing the location more accurately to within 30ft (10m), as well as build a more detailed picture of traffic flow to the area. For drivers, the system results in more timely and accurate traffic data and less disruption caused by road closures.

This data is to be merged with TomTom's pool of floating car data from over 500 million devices. It will then be displayed and analysed in a TomTom interface specifically designed for the needs of Traffic Management Centers.

"With this project, we are connecting road infrastructure, vehicles, drivers and road authorities, enabling them to exchange information in near real time. That is what the Internet of Things is about. With TomTom's expertise, its gigantic pool of traffic data and innovative traffic technology, TomTom is a strong company to work with in this field," says Edwin Paalvast, President EMEAR at Cisco.

Accurate Real Time Traffic Services

This research and development is expected to reduce latency and increase accuracy of real time traffic services, while reducing the costs of traffic monitoring infrastructure. As an example, DAS technology promises to be significantly cheaper to set up and maintain than traditional inductive loop sensors. This project aims to develop better products supporting the demanding requirements of autonomous driving, where cars need to know what lies beyond their sensors, in real time and on each lane.

"We strongly believe that Internet of Things and cloud technologies are essential parts to the future of mobility and we are excited to work with Cisco in moving traffic technology forward", explains Anders Truelsen, Managing Director of TomTom's Licensing Business.

TomTom is best known for being a global leader in navigation and mapping products. TomTom also creates GPS sports watches, as well as state-of-the-art fleet management solutions and industry-leading location-based products. The company's core business consists of four customer-facing business units — Consumer, Automotive, Licensing and Telematics.


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