TomTom recently revealed that its completely connected navigation solution will come standard in the new Fiat 500 in Europe. This system includes the newest TomTom maps, which features five years of TomTom’s live connected suite services providing drivers with a navigation solution that is smart and precise and offers real-time map updates.

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According to TomTom Africa General Manager, Entienne Louw this connected navigation solution is a significant step towards automated driving and adds that:

Up until now, cars have been quite isolated where navigation systems rely on dealing directly with dealerships, and involve DVD or SD card updates that the driver has to initiate. This is both time-consuming and inconvenient for drivers. Consumers are craving a service similar to that of a smartphone, where information is instantly updated and easily accessible. This need has pushed the automotive industry to embrace the concept of the connected car more actively.

Having connected navigation systems is one of the first and important steps in creating automated cars that drive themselves. In its goal to achieve driverless cars, TomTom have partnered up with Bosch to develop Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) that use highly accurate map data to inform drivers about the road ahead. Some examples include Mercedes trucks that are able to drive themselves along certain stretches of highway and Audi who achieved having a car drive itself from San Francisco to Las Vegas using high precision TomTom Maps.

Louw goes on to explain that the navigation system is able to provide live traffic information as well as real-time map updates. These features significantly improve the driving experience by avoiding traffic jams to ensure you reach your destination faster. Louw adds:

As a world leader in maps and GPS navigation, TomTom has been working constantly for almost 25 years, perfecting its map production and distribution processes. With the use of the new Navigation Data Standard (NDS), we are reducing the time between the moment a road modification/incident is captured, and the moment it is pushed to navigation systems from months to days – even seconds in the case of incidents – and we do so without compromising on map quality. This is what real-time mapping is about