TomTom has revealed its Traffic Manifesto today, outlining global aims to tackle traffic congestion, based on experience with the HD Traffic system.
The Dutch company has laid out its philanthropic plans, with Harold Goddijn, TomTom CEO, delivering a rousing battle cry before an assembled crowd in London. “We are on a mission”, outlines Goddijn, claiming that TomTom must “do this for society”.
To say that this was just a platform to promote its subscription-based HD Traffic-equipped personal navigation devices might be a little cynical, and reading the Manifesto in detail (as one must with any manifesto) it’s clear the company has wider aims.
This isn’t just about tackling traffic, it’s about curing the ills of society that traffic causes: “It can prevent a parent from kissing their child good night. It can make the beginning of a family holiday miserable, instead of fun. Traffic even has psychological and physical health implications that we are only just starting to explore”.
This is in addition to the economic impact that traffic has: “…help reduce the £8bn lost by the UK national economy each year through traffic congestion”.
A noble cause no one can doubt, and TomTom seems to be serious in its plans, with Goddijn claiming that TomTom would “spend a lot of money”.
But enough of the hyperbole, what is TomTom actually going to do? It seems that the future hangs on the collective. Likening it to Star Trek’s Borg seems particularly apt - with HD Traffic, the hive mind, underpinning the whole thing.
“In the future, when 10% of drivers use TomTom’s HD Traffic navigation system there will be a ‘collective effect’, and we aim to reduce journey times for everyone by up to 5% where there is traffic.”
This will be joined by academic endeavour too, assembling a TomTom Traffic Foundation and holding an annual traffic summit. TomTom wants to be working with governments and authorities to help use TomTom’s infrastructure to improve the traffic problem for all.
The objectives outlined in the Traffic Manifesto are: to encourage every driver to play a role in reducing traffic congestion by better journey planning; to increase the availability of HD Traffic in the UK and across Europe; to lead the continuous improvement of traffic and route guidance technology; to bring together key traffic stakeholders to share ideas and drive actions forward.
“Inertia is our greatest enemy; we need to awaken people to a new way of thinking”, the Manifesto reads.
You will be assimilated.