September 26, 2008

TeleAtlas to Incorporate TomTom's Speed Profile Data


TeleAtlas announced an upgrade to its product line; the inclusion of TomTom's speed profile database into the core mapping dataset. Recall that if you use a TomTom, they ask if they can collect anonymous data from your device, including the actual speeds you drive on roads. That's how TomTom can roll out technology like IQ Routes for more accurate travel times (See my review of the GO 930 with IQ Routes). Let's face it, some roads just don't let you go the speed limit, or alternatively a road with a bunch of stop lights is not going to let you effectively travel at the speed limit.

Interesting move here, and one that I wasn't sure TomTom would allow with its acquisition of their mapping partner, TeleAtlas. If this information as well as the information that is gathered with the MapShare changes, are all effectively shared, the TeleAtlas dataset could take a big step up in usefulness and quality.

This speed data will be available to other customers of TeleAtlas.

Full Press Release Below.......

Tele Atlas Gains Access to TomTom's Unique Speed Profiles Database

Data covering 25 countries, 18 million kilometers across the European and North American road networks, gives fastest routes to navigation system users

Tele Atlas, a leading global provider of digital maps and dynamic content for navigation and location based solutions, has gained access to TomTom's vast speed profiles database, which will be made available to Tele Atlas customers later this year in a uniform, global, low footprint format.

Speed profiles transform the navigation user experience because routes are calculated using real measurements instead of rough estimates. The speed profiles database is derived from almost half a trillion speed measurements that TomTom customers in 25 countries have been sharing with the company over the past two years, making it unique in terms of both size and richness. Today this speed profile database already provides highly accurate information about actual average speeds for every five minutes of the day on any day of the week on all of the roads in 23 European countries and 90 percent of the roads in the United States. To achieve this kind of accuracy, those 18 million kilometers of roads had to be driven and measured on average more than 2,000 times at different times of the day and during different days of the week.

Traditional systems use standardized estimates to calculate routes based on census data or legal speed limits, so routes are always the same regardless of the time, day or situation. "These estimates ignore many things that influence how people should drive to their destinations, such as the frequencies of traffic lights, lunch breaks at large schools, speed bumps, stop signs and awkward railway crossings, " says Tele Atlas CEO Bill Henry. "Speed profiles actually contain this very specific and important local knowledge, enabling our customers to deliver unprecedented navigation quality--much better routes and much more accurate estimated times of arrival."

Recent user tests with this speed profile database show impressive results. For the first time in history, the vast majority of users said that the routes produced by their navigation devices match the way they themselves would drive in areas they have known for years. "Clearly, Tele Atlas speed profiles deliver the best route to every possible destination," says Henry.

Read More in: Mapping News | TomTom GPS News

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Posted by Scott Martin at September 26, 2008 8:19 AM

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