With incredible technology developments in the automotive space, such as blind spot detection and lane departure warnings, accident rates have dropped significantly. However, we can do much more to combat road fatalities.
In the new age of connected technology, advanced driver assistance features and automated driving are taking safety further. Innovation advances every day, one step at a time. Today, we’ve launched that next step: TomTom Hazard Warnings.
Heavy rain creates cracks and potholes on a country road. A car breaks down on the highway, blocking a lane. Fog rolls in, limiting visibility ahead. Roads, traffic and weather are constantly changing – creating dangerous and potentially deadly conditions for drivers.
Hazards come in all forms. In a rural area, there might be a herd of cows blocking the road around the next corner. In the city, a traffic jam three kilometers up the road may have a jam tail that isn’t registered on the map. Every hazard is unique and should be accounted for, including the following:
Road hazards: Poor road conditions, objects on the road or roadworks.
Traffic hazards: Vehicle accidents, jam tails or vehicle breakdowns.
Weather hazards: Slippery roads, strong winds or reduced visibility due to fog.
With TomTom Hazard Warnings, drivers can safely navigate the road ahead, no matter what types of incidents they come across. And as automated driving continues to become more mainstream, push alerts will help vehicles adjust their behavior based on upcoming hazards – such as changing driving routes or slowing down – and give the driver visual or audio warnings.
From icy roads to obstacles in the road, drivers come across plenty of surprise incidents that can hamper their journey. The best way to make roads as safe as possible is to make them predictable by working together. New technologies are all about informing each other, as well as connecting with those around you – and TomTom Hazard Warnings does exactly that.
While using our own eyes may not be enough at times, everyone else’s vision contributes to making the road much safer. Thanks to TomTom’s global community of over 600 million connected devices, people can help their fellow drivers know what’s coming up. TomTom Hazard Warnings combines data from all these devices – and other sources like vehicle sensors and GPS traces – to create a highly accurate, up-to-the-minute picture of real road conditions. Whenever there’s an unexpected change – whether traffic or weather related – our service detects it and notifies users, so they can be prepared and optimize their journeys.
Today, when we need information, we expect it to be available instantly, in just a few clicks, scrolls or taps. And that’s equally true when driving on the road: We need to know about upcoming conditions well ahead of time, so we can anticipate and safely navigate them.
Traditional hazard notification systems use a request-response model that can take up to three minutes to report a hazard. This is because they must wait for a vehicle to request hazard information before responding with any new or updated notifications, which can take some time depending on the frequency of a particular request-response cycle. People can go a long way on a highway within three minutes – and this delay is not only significant but can even be fatal in some cases.
TomTom Hazard Warnings solves this issue by using the industry's first push model, which enables fast delivery of notifications to vehicles within five seconds of detection. With the push model, requests are triggered from the server instead of waiting for a request from the vehicle, so once a hazard is detected, a notification is sent immediately to the vehicle.
As automated technology develops, staying connected to others has never been more important. With the biggest community of 600 million probes contributing to TomTom Hazard Warnings, it’s not just drivers who can connect and communicate with each other – but also their cars.
With the fastest notifications and full coverage, TomTom Hazard Warnings is an important step in moving automated driving forward and making the road safer for us all.