Tom Tom will face tough competition in this market from technology giants like Google, Apple and Nokia, all of which have expressed an interest in the developing mapping technology for driverless cars.However, Ms Vigreux believes that Tom Tom's "live mapping" service is ahead of its competitors. It’s a very complex thing to do, because maps change all the time, so you need to get that data, validate it and broadcast it," she said.It was very difficult because our competitors were trying to do just that – the editing and the sharing was a bit of a holy grail," said Ms Vigreux.
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Now Tom Tom is straying even further from its roots, with the launch of the Bandit action camera.
It too contains GPS sensors, allowing users to find and tag exciting moments in their video footage based on speed, altitude, G-force and acceleration.
But it’s not just about who can capitalize on and monetize the data, or use it to improve existing services and products—although that’s a big piece of it.
Mapping tech, and specifically high-definition mapping, is necessary for self-driving cars to gain any traction.
Without it, self-driving cars can’t move beyond a few dozen test vehicles to the mainstream.
This week, German industrial conglomerate Robert Bosch Gmbh and mapping firm Tom Tom deepened their partnership.
Maps for highly automated driving are different from current navigation systems.
For one, they’re much more accurate, down to a decimeter in precision, according to Bosch.
Ms Vigreux said that, although the market has declined massively since 2008, there is still demand for stand-alone satnav devices, and in some parts of the world, the market has returned to growth. "If you want an in-built system you need to buy a new car, and to keep the product updated takes a long time.
"People bought more personal navigation devices in Halfords and Dixons in 2014 than in 2013, and in 2015 it will surely grow some more. So on the whole, that's a relatively small part of the market.
"Navigation on the phone is great, but when people go abroad they don't want to have roaming charges, they don't want to have their phone connected, and they want to have something the whole family can use, so they want to have a dedicated product." Ms Vigreux is under no illusions that this market will go on forever.