TomTom (TOM2) and Baidu (BIDU) announced this week that they have partnered to develop high definition (HD) maps for autonomous driving. Their collaboration on the development of a global HD map service combines TomTom and Baidu’s expertise in HD map-making and artificial intelligence (AI). Baidu will leverage TomTom’s Real-Time Map Platform to improve HD map-related technologies utilised in China.

TomTom’s HD Map and RoadDNA are two revolutionary, highly accurate, digital map products helping automated vehicles precisely locate themselves on the road and plan manoeuvres, even when traveling at high speeds. TomTom’s HD Map already covers the USA* and Western Europe**, with over 360,000km of highways and interstates mapped. TomTom already sets a worldwide standard with TomTom real-time mapping technology that helps enable safe autonomous driving.

Harold Goddijn, CEO, TomTom, said: “With Baidu moving to TomTom’s map making platform for high definition maps, we’re creating a globally unified HD map service for OEMs and technology companies who are working on the future of driving. We are convinced that we can accelerate this future with smart partners like Baidu.”

Qi Lu, COO, Baidu, commented: “Autonomous driving is a paradigm shift for the automotive industry, and engineering and testing the systems to make it a reality is much less effort when those systems are globally identical. Our collaboration with TomTom creates a uniform global component in the form of a single HD map service, and further advances our open source self-driving car programme, Apollo.”

Baidu is a leading artificial intelligence company and a major mapping service provider in China. Leveraging its resource and capabilities in AI, the company has been developing HD maps since 2013, using smart technologies such as deep learning to help automate data processing and map creation. This past April, Baidu announced its open source autonomous driving platform, Apollo. The project aims to build a collaborative ecosystem for companies to work together and to promote the development and popularisation of autonomous driving technology.

This announcement will not have a material financial impact on the current fiscal year. Entering into this partnership is in line with TomTom’s strategy and is beneficial to its long-term development.

*Mainland/Contiguous US: 48 states + Washington DC. Does not include Hawaii and Alaska.

**19 Countries: France, Germany, UK, Spain, Italy, Ireland, Switzerland, Portugal, Austria, Czech Republic, Poland, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland and San Marino.


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