“At TomTom we have a great challenge, and that is to keep our location data up-to-date,” said Peter Frans, TomTom co-founder.

TechRepublic’s Teena Maddox met with Frans at the Mobile World Congress Americas 2017 to discuss how TomTom uses data analytics to improve real-time mapping.

TomTom gathers most of its real-time data by using their Mobile Mapping Van to take images, and by tracking smart phones, and trucks in real time. They track up to a billion devices in real time to get location data in anonymized form.

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“We take that data, and then we can update the maps, but also traffic information,” he said. “We can see where congestion is, then we can redistribute that information…to cars and map users around the globe.”

Frans believes mapping of the future lies in real-time maps. As cars are becoming smarter with autonomous driving, they need to have real-time information to drive safely and efficiently. “That is an exciting future for us,” he said.

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