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January 18, 2017

TomTom acquires Autonomous driving start-up in race towards self-driving tech

Autonomous driving start-up to help boost TomTom's position in self-driving race.

By Hannah Williams

TomTom has unveiled its acquisition of Autonomos, an autonomous driving start-up based in Berlin in aid to strengthen the company’s position in the industry.

Autonomos, which was founded in 2012, has previously provided Research and Development consultancy services for automated vehicle assistance systems and has also built different expertise and technologies in the process.

These include a full demonstration-level autonomous driving software stack, 3D sensor technology and digital image processing.

Its founders have worked for several years in a selection of autonomous driving research projects at the University of Berlin.

The acquisition is expected to advance TomTom’s map-based products for autonomous driving applications, in order for its customers to deploy products such as HD map, RoadDNA localisation technology, navigation, traffic and other cloud services.

Harold Goddijn, CEO and co-founder of TomTom said: “This is an important development for TomTom as it will help us strengthen our capabilities for the future of driving and expand our knowledge and expertise.

“With this deal we are further positioning ourselves as one of the leaders in autonomous driving.”

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TomTom was also recently included in collaboration with Microsoft, HERE and Esri in plans to develop the next ‘world graph.’

The collaboration, announced in December 2016, will see Microsoft integrate TomTom’s location-based services into its Azure platform. These technologies are expected to include high definition maps and RoadDNA technology for autonomous driving.

Tinosch Ganjineh, CEO and co-founder of Autonomos said: “We are proud to have been selected by the world leader in map making for bringing autonomous driving together to the next level.

“TomTom’s technologies combined with our intelligent driving know-how are a perfect match to make the dream of self-driving cars become a reality.”

The development towards autonomous driving sees both automotive makers and technology manufacturers developing unique systems in the race towards autonomous driving, such as Intel and BMW who recently announced plans to distribute approximately 40 autonomous test cars by the second half of 2017.

The acquisition enables TomTom to work with a team that worked with the DARPA Grand Challenge competitions. This is a competition for American autonomous vehicles, known as the first long distance competition for driverless cars in the world.

Financial terms of the acquisition are yet to be disclosed.

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