|TomTom and Vodafone UK announced yesterday an agreement to develop together a state of the art traffic information system in Great Britain using anonymous data from Vodafone users and TomTom Mobility Solutions technology. This announcement strengthens and extends the TomTom Vodafone partnership first developed in the Netherlands where a traffic information system powered by TomTom for its Personal Navigation Devices (PND) customers will be launched this summer.
In United Kingdom â€œdetails of the service will be made available at launch which is expected to be in the first half of 2008â€, said TomTom. All current and future TomTom users will be able to benefit from the service, once it is available. According to Harold Goddijn, TomTom’s CEO: â€œIt is TomTom’s ambition to cover 50% of our installed European base by 2008.â€ To fulfill this promise Harold Goddijn probably expects to sign with at least an additional European wireless operator early 2008.
TomTom Mobility Solutions was created by the acquisition of the UK-based company Applied Generics, early 2006. The promise of its technology is to get precise traffic information for a much bigger number of roads than with current solutions used today: road sensors, reported incidents, cameras, and information from fleet management systems. This technology is based on the fact that every active mobile phone transmits a signal to the mobile network that reveals its approximate location. Whenever the mobile phone is in motion at a certain speed and in a certain direction, and this information is projected onto the road network, then reliable traffic information is created by TomTom algorithms.
The solution will also be available for road authorities and businesses, who may use it for dynamic traffic control measures and improved fleet management; but in the consumer space TomTom will keep it as an exclusive service for its customers. This will give a competitive edge to its navigation solutions on the UK market.