Success story

Phiar and TomTom

Projecting the future of navigation with Augmented Reality.

Augmented Reality (AR) has emerged as a way of enabling live-perception in cars. To maximize its transformative impact, however, it needs to be accessible to the mass market.

Integrating AR into automobiles comes with the promise of an improved driving experience. However, with the wide variety of information that can be displayed using AR, this new technology runs the risk of overwhelming and even distracting the driver. Therefore, it's important to make conscious design decisions about what is being shown to the driver and on which display of the car.

Coming together

Two years ago, TomTom and Phiar teamed up to bring a seamless AR user experience to the future of automotive navigation. Through this collaboration, we have combined our expertise as frontrunners in our respective fields.

When searching the market for innovations in the field of AR, experts at TomTom came across Phiar's AI-Powered AR Navigation. Impressed especially by the Phiar Spatial-AI Engine’s ability to detect and track objects on the road, we approached the start-up with a proposal to collaborate.

Both Phiar’s AI and AR software and TomTom’s new Navigation software were still being developed at the time. This meant that we could incorporate each other’s feedback while building our respective products, making this collaboration even more unique and mutually beneficial.

Bringing AR to the car

Together, we have created a joint solution with the Phiar AI/AR component pre-integrated and tested with the TomTom Navigation SDK. The final product is based on validated learning derived from multiple rounds of simulation tests, as well as drive tests, conducted in advanced development vehicles with system integrators and an OEM.

TomTom’s advanced navigation SDK and Phiar’s breakthrough computer vision-powered spatial AI make it possible for OEMs and system integrators to offer AR capabilities.

Phiar’s lightweight Spatial-AI Engine enables vehicles to understand their environment better in real time. Using this understanding, Phiar’s real-time perception performs object recognition and tracking, depth estimation, lane detection, semantic segmentation and 3D localization. To avoid overwhelming drivers with information and achieve an informational balance, TomTom Navigation provides easy-to-integrate Navigation UI components. Especially in a multi-display cockpit design, these ensure that the right information is displayed at the right place at the right time on both the AR displays and the traditional displays in the car.

The benefits of collaboration

By combining our expertise, Phiar and TomTom have created an innovative driving platform that delivers a cohesive driver experience. Relevant information can be overlaid on top of the road ahead, making navigation cues and ADAS notifications explicit and thus easy to understand.

For automakers, this pre-integrated solution can ensure that AR capabilities add value for their users, improving the driving experience, while minimizing cost and time-to-market. With this collaboration, we are integrating Phiar’s AI and AR capabilities as a standard joint offering with TomTom’s navigation portfolio.

As the automotive cockpit becomes increasingly intelligent with a wide range of functions to perform and information to provide, prioritizing and structuring what’s displayed to the driver is essential in order to avoid cognitive overload. We're working closely with TomTom and making it easy for OEMs and Tier 1 companies to integrate vision-powered spatial AI and offer AR capabilities that utilize vehicle IVI SoC, camera and sensors to provide drivers with a far more intuitive navigation experience.

Gene Karshenboym

CEO, Phiar

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