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TomTom Extends its Map Editing Partnership with Uber Across its Entire Global Platform

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【Summary】On Tuesday, TomTom announced it will extend its existing partnership that began in 2015 of integrating TomTom’s maps, traffic data, and Maps APIs across Uber’s entire global platform. As part of the ongoing agreement, Uber will serve as a trusted map editing partner to TomTom, leading to even more accurate navigation and location, trip routing, fares, and better arrival time estimates for Uber customers.

FutureCar Staff    Oct 13, 2020 7:00 PM PT
TomTom Extends its Map Editing Partnership with Uber Across its Entire Global Platform

People that use Uber for ride-hailing are familiar with how the app works, including the highly precise maps that show a riders exact pickup location, as well as their driver's locations and how long it will take before their assigned driver arrives. This process can only work as intended if the maps accessed by Uber's app are always up to date. 

All of Uber's mapping technology needs to be the best it can be to support its business model of providing roughly 3 millions rides each day, so the California ride-sharing company has partnered with one of the world's biggest mapping companies TomTom.

On Tuesday, TomTom announced it will extend its existing partnership that began in 2015 of integrating TomTom's maps, traffic data, and Maps APIs across Uber's entire global platform. 

TomTom's mapping and GPS technologies are used by hundreds of millions of people worldwide, including in the Uber app.

As part of the ongoing agreement, Uber will serve as a trusted map editing partner to TomTom, leading to even more accurate navigation and location, trip routing, fares, and better arrival time estimates for Uber customers, including for the food delivery platform Uber Eats. 

Uber is one of its first strategic partners to join TomTom's Map Editing Partnership (MEP) program. Through the MEP, roughly 3 million monthly edits are made to the TomTom's maps by partners in over 70 countries. 

Companies like Uber can report back on any road conditions its drivers encounter so any changes can be made to the maps. The program is a mutually beneficial collaboration with strategic partners that leads to even better maps for all users, even if they are being utilized outside of Uber's ride-hailing platform, such as TomTom's turn-by-turn directions.

As part of the MEP, TomTom's trainers and subject matter experts teach Uber employees how to best edit a map. Once a partner's editors have been certified through the company's customized map editing curriculum, they are then able to make changes to the live map.

"We look forward to working more closely with Uber and delivering even better location data to improve the mobility of the users of TomTom's products everywhere," said Anders Truelsen, Managing Director, TomTom Enterprise. "TomTom's full suite of industry-leading datasets and services, including highly accurate maps, traffic and Maps APIs, will help any company to enhance their location-enabled solutions."

Through the MEP, Uber's engineers can add new roads, turn restrictions, street closures and more, ensuring fresh, accurate location information. Uber's integration of TomTom's data and Maps APIs will ensure a seamless mapping experience in the Uber apps in more than 10,000 cities around the world.

Keeping maps updated is a huge undertaking for companies like TomTom, as the world's roads are ever-changing with construction and maintenance tasks happening every day. it's estimated that 10% of the global road network changes every year, but they cannot be easily updated unless TomTom is made aware of the changes, which is what Uber will assist with.

For example, a temporary road closure for construction resulting in a turn left restriction must be updated and reflected for users accessing TomTom's maps.  TomTom said it regularly processes close to two billion map changes per month, which helps it maintain the freshest maps. 

Both Uber and TomTom will work closely together to ensure map updates reflect real-world changes.

For its part, Uber will observe and report on-the-ground insights from completed trips and deliveries and TomTom will use the data to provide even more accurate maps to Uber's platform.

"Accurate mapping is at the heart of Uber's platform, which is why we're thrilled to continue teaming up with TomTom," said Michael Weiss-Malik, Director of Product, Maps and GSS at Uber. "Our partnership will help create even more dynamic mapping experiences in our global marketplace." 

Outside of its partnership with Uber, TomTom collects data from a variety of sources, including survey vehicles, government agencies, TomTom's navigation users and from vehicle sensors. 

All of these changes are put into TomTom's transactional mapmaking platform where they go through run quality checks before being incrementally updated so that users can access the most updated maps.

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