The speed profiles database is derived from almost half a trillion speed measurements that TomTom customers in 25 countries have been sharing with the company over the past two years. The desktop application TomTom Home has an opt-in system through which customers can automatically share their GPS tracks when they connect their device to their PC.
The database provides information about actual average speeds for every five minutes of the day on any day of the week on all of the roads in 23 European countries and 90 percent of the roads in the United States. “To achieve this kind of accuracy, those 18 million kilometers of roads had to be driven and measured on average more than 2,000 times at different times of the day and during different days of the week”, said Tele Atlas.
“[previously existing] 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. “Speed profiles actually contain this very specific and important local knowledge, enabling our customers to deliver unprecedented navigation quality—much better routes and much more accurate estimated times of arrival.”
TomTom already used this database to improve its routing algorithms in its mid- to high-end products under the name “IQ Routes”.
This new database is the first product based on the closed cooperation between TomTom and Tele Atlas since the acquisition was completed. HD Traffic and Map Share are two other technologies that will benefit to Tele Atlas; it is likely that more announcements will be made in this area before the end of the year.