TomTom - the mapping company - is interested in self-driving cars.

The self-driving car movement is obviously here to stay. More and more high-profile companies, such as Google and maybe even Apple, are taking it seriously, and now that group of supporters has expanded to include TomTom, which unveiled an autonomous navigation system called RoadDNA.

The system is meant to make self-driving cars a reality. It's capable of providing "highly accurate location information" and can be easily integrated into a car's on-board system. By delivering a lateral and longitudinal view of the roadway in real-time, RoadDNA basically allows a car to knows its location on the road.

A car will not only only know its own location (even when traveling along at high speeds), but also when changes occur to the roadside. TomTom said RoadDNA features precise localisation technology, in which it matches the roadway view with vehicle sensor data, helping it to offer localisation content in an "efficient and cost effective way".

RoadDNA is able to convert a 3D point cloud of road side patterns into a compressed 2D view of the road, allowing the vehicle to understand what's happening around it. Also, according to TomTom, RoadDNA was made with vehicle data storage and processing limitations in mind, so it won't use a lot of storage space and power.


TomTom believes its new solution is robust and scalable - mostly because it eliminates the complexity of identifying each single roadway object and instead creates a unique pattern of the roadway environment.

There is no word yet when RoadDNA might be included in automated cars.