Editor's note: An earlier version of this report incorrectly stated that the Center for Automotive Research is an affiliate of the University of Michigan.
DETROIT -- Driving data gathered from vehicles equipped with advanced cameras and sensors could mean even more sophisticated real-time information from mapping companies such as TomTom.
TomTom's Jan-Maarten de Vries shared a scenario for how such applications would work during a Center for Automotive Research event in suburban Detroit.
Imagine that a person is driving through a winding mountain road. The car, fitted with sensors and cameras, is constantly absorbing environmental data in order to provide lane warnings and other safety services.
In the future, de Vries says a TomTom system could use this incoming information to enhance the base map in the vehicle and provide a more detailed depiction of the surroundings.
"We can combine our base map data with data coming back from the car -- from the sensors -- that enhance the base map and give a more accurate map on the exact lanes on the road and the surroundings," said de Vries, TomTom's vice president of automotive strategy, product management and marketing. "We can complement the map and fuse the map into a more accurate map and dispatch updates based on our incremental map update system back to the car."
TomTom's de Vries was joined by David Pratt, general manager of usage based insurance at Progressive; Danny Shapiro, director of tech company NVIDIA's automotive business unit; Patricia Watkins, director of global client management for Sprint Velocity; and Luke Bonner, vice president of business development for Ann Arbor SPARK.
The event's theme was "Emerging Vehicle Technology: Trends in Connected and Automated Vehicles." Discussed by the panel:
- Consumer expectations that the conveniences afforded by mobile devices carry over into their vehicles.
- The importance of having infotainment systems that can be updated on the fly.
- Technology used by the insurance industry that allows it to track driver behavior.
De Vries said TomTom is developing a NavCloud system that stores navigation data such as a person's favorite routes and destinations to provide a personalized user experience.
In an example highlighting this personal navigation experience, de Vries said the map could switch to commuter mode when a driver doesn't need turn-by-turn directions.
Instead of navigating, the map would pass on weather and traffic updates, and link to third-party applications.
He said, "This could increase relevance of the connected navigation system on a daily basis, while you may now only use it on an irregular basis."