The same kind of technology is used by TomTom for its HD traffic service in cooperation with Vodafone’s European affiliates, Airsage with Sprint in the United States and IntelliOne with Rogers Wireless in Canada. However, this is the first time an operator is developing this technology by itself. “We have the total control of the platform both in term of technology and network”, said Jean-Luc Klein, Telematics and Automotive applications project manager at Orange. “Our R&D has a real know-how in wireless network engineering and modeling; with this platform we applied it to generate traffic data".
Orange Labs started working on this technology two years ago and is now finalizing its platform which will be operational in France in 2009. A prototype of the system is already running live 24/7 and provides traffic information in the French western city of Toulouse. However, “the idea from the start is to deploy it Europe-wide”, said Jean-Luc Klein. “After France we intend to deploy it in Spain, the United Kingdom, Belgium, and ultimately Poland, Romania and Slovakia.”
There is now doubt this new traffic information feed will be of interest to many traffic service aggregators and their customers. European navigation providers competing with TomTom are currently lacking a service to fight against its HD traffic feature. The Orange service could be a perfect fit for these navigation players.