TomTom is developing lane level traffic technology supporting autonomous driving and smarter mobility.

Research will be carried out in cooperation with Cisco to leverage roadside data captured by its 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, supported by Cisco’s Internet of Things platform.

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

This data is to be merged with TomTom’s pool of floating car data from more than 500m devices. It will then be displayed and analysed in a TomTom interface specifically designed for the needs of Traffic Management Centres.

“With this project, we are connecting road infrastructure, vehicles, drivers and road authorities, enabling them to exchange information in near real time,” said EMEAR (Europe, Middle East, Africa and Russia) president, Edwin Paalvast.

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“That is what the Internet of Things is about.”

The 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 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”, added TomTom Licensing Business managing director, Anders Truelsen.