Navigation and mapping specialist TomTom has launched RoadCheck which allows carmakers to decide where it is safe for drivers to activate automated driving functions.

Noting that safe automated driving is not always possible during periods of poor weather, in tunnels, and in changing environments, such as roadworks, TomTom claimed RoadCheck uses high definition (HD) map data to define operational limits of vehicles' automated driving functions so carmakers can manage where these functions can be used safely.

TomTom said it was "addressing a critical industry challenge that has been highlighted by our partners and customers."

It claims RoadCheck is industry first technology and "will make safe autonomous driving a reality sooner".

"We have become the first to offer carmakers a complete mapping service for safe automated driving."

RoadCheck will used in a production model "by a leading global carmaker in 2021, starting in the United States".

Amsterdam based TomTom started as a supplier of aftermarket car sat-nav devices and has since expanded to supply maps, navigation software, real-time traffic information and related services.