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Tele Atlas To Share TomTom Traffic Data

9/25/2008 12:20:00 PM Eastern

Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands — GPS map maker Tele Atlas, owned by TomTom, will offer TomTom’s traffic data to Tele Atlas map customers, including Mio and Pioneer.

Personal navigation device (PND) makers using Tele Atlas maps will have access to TomTom’s database of “speed profiles” of the traffic flow on a given road on any day of the week at any particular time. With this data, a PND would “know” that traffic is more congested on Monday at 5:55 p.m. than on Sunday and could more accurately choose the best route to a destination and give a more accurate estimated time of arrival.

The TomTom data is taken from almost half a trillion speed measurements that TomTom customers in 25 countries “have been sharing with the company over the past two years,” Tele Atlas said. This data is then broken down into five-minute increments and includes roads in North America as well as Europe. 

Traditional PNDs use speed limits and census data to calculate routes, so they do not take times of day into consideration, said Tele Atlas. “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,” said Tele Atlas CEO Bill Henry, claiming, “Speed profiles actually contain this very specific and important local knowledge.”

Other companies such as Inrix also sell this type of data to PND makers.

Tele Atlas, which was purchased by TomTom in June, also shares other types of TomTom data with Tele Atlas customers. In June, Tele Atlas announced it would share TomTom map updates with its customers. TomTom receives map updates from its 20 million users as part of a MapShare program where the users alert TomTom of changes in the road.