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November 15th, 2019
TomTom Establishes Research Lab for Self-Driving Vehicle Mapping

AMSTERDAM – TomTom and the University of Amsterdam (UvA) today announced the launch of a new public-private research lab to focus on autonomous driving. The Atlas Lab project will focus on using artificial intelligence to develop advanced, accurate and safe high-definition maps for self-driving vehicles.

The lab, which is part of the national Innovation Centre for AI, is based in the Amsterdam Science Park. Over the next five years, five Ph.D. students from the university will work in the lab on projects that contribute to automated recognition of items such as traffic signs, 3D localization of vehicles, and combining LiDAR laser and camera images. For retrieving data, mobile mapping vans equipped with sensors, like LIDAR-systems and cameras, are being used.

New challenges

“At the UvA we are already doing research on automated recognition of items in images and videos,” said Theo Gevers, one of the scientific directors at Atlas Labs. “Yet the recognition of items and creation of HD maps in highly complex situations like a moving car, is still a huge challenge. This collaboration with TomTom provides an extra dimension to new and challenging AI research.”

Harold Goddijn, TomTom CEO.

The Innovation Center for Artificial Intelligence (ICAI) is a national initiative focused on joint technology development between academia, industry, and government in the area of artificial intelligence. ICAI aims to bring these forces together in a unique national initiative to tap into the talent, research and tradition in AI education that the Netherlands has achieved, the group said. The innovation strategy is organized around industry labs, with multi-year collaborations focused on technology and talent development.

“TomTom is pushing the boundaries of the use of AI for making HD maps for self-driving cars,” said Harold Goddijn, the CEO of TomTom. “We need groundbreaking research into AI technology, which is why we’re collaborating with UvA’s world-leading AI department on this initiative. This will move us a step closer to an autonomous future with safer roads, free of congestion and emissions.”