A safer, cleaner and congestion-free world, one update at a time
Vincent Demuynck·Mar 20, 2020

A safer, cleaner and congestion-free world, one update at a time

Vincent Demuynck
Manager Product Marketing Automotive
Mar 20, 2020 · 4 min read
A Safer, Cleaner and Congestion-Free World, One Update at a Time | TomTom Newsroom

Governments, citizens and businesses alike must work together to improve the future of mobility. At TomTom, we are using our expertise in location technology to bring our vision of a safe, connected, autonomous world one step closer to reality.

We live in a world where our streets are increasingly congested, road accidents are still widespread and emissions present an ever-increasing risk to our planet. But the transition towards a more sustainable way of living is a challenge that requires all members of society – businesses and citizens alike – to make smarter decisions.

The wind of change in the automotive industry

There are few places where this challenge is clearer than in the automotive industry. Being a car manufacturer today requires walking a tightrope that involves keeping business thriving while investing in future-proof mobility platforms and technologies.

With mounting pressure coming from governments issuing emission fines and consumers expecting low-cost electric vehicles, carmakers are faced with the question of how to best rise to the challenge.

The Dutch example

In a country such as the Netherlands, this transition is even more pressing. As a small and densely populated country, high traffic is causing air pollution to reach harmful levels. Seeing this concerning progression, the country decided to act.

In most Dutch cities, the main barriers to widespread electric vehicle adoption are being directly addressed.

City authorities are combatting range anxiety , the fear that an EV will run out of battery power before the driver reaches their destination, through investing in an extensive public charging point infrastructure. From 2011 to 2019, the number of EV charging stations in the Netherlands rose from 1,826 to over 41,000.

parking sign for electric vehiclesA Dutch road sign indicates parking for electric vehicles.

Furthermore, the government has implemented a number of taxation measures and incentives to encourage consumers to ditch the petrol engine for a safer and cleaner alternative. Together, these measures have led the country to the top of the 2020 EV readiness index.

But that’s not all, as nitrogen emissions in the Netherlands began to exceed levels permitted by the EU, the government took even more drastic measures. In November 2019, the Dutch administration made the decision to lower speed limits on highways from 120 and 130 kilometers to 100 kilometers per hour during daytime hours.

Although the Netherlands is a prime example of a positive shift, measures implemented throughout the EU reflect the need for safer and cleaner roads.

TomTom probe data shows how traffic builds on the streets of Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

The EU and beyond

On a larger scale, the EU is implementing widespread measures to improve overall road safety. All new vehicles sold in Europe after 2022 must be fitted with life-saving safety features including intelligent speed assistance (ISA). Maps from TomTom not only support ISA systems but, unlike cameras, don’t suffer from poor visibility during rain or fog and the view can’t be blocked by other large vehicles. Nor do they misinterpret signs with sub-plates or other types of conditional speed limits.

These systems will make drivers fully aware of when they have exceeded the speed limit and reduce fatalities on EU roads by up to 20%.

Governments are beginning to implement measures to reduce emissions and make roads safer, and although these measures are not mandatory throughout the world, it indicates that the transition towards cleaner and safer roads has begun.

But governments need the support of companies and consumers alike. And at TomTom, we know we have a key role to play.

Location technology for a safer, cleaner and congestion-free world

At TomTom, we have a clear direction behind every decision we make. Our vision is to reach a safe, connected, autonomous world that is free of congestion and emissions.

When the Netherlands decreased the speed limit to reduce congestion in March 2020, we were ready to ensure our devices reflected the change through an update shared with customers and partners the month before. To make sure drivers were not left behind, customers using a TomTom satnav or app, as well as those with a TomTom in-dash navigation system, saw the correct speed limit on their screen as soon as they updated their devices.

But we don’t simply react to change, our technologies are leading the way for future mobility. Using our expertise in location technology, we always strive to contribute towards safer roads and a cleaner environment in the Netherlands, and beyond.

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Whatever your needs, we’ve got your map. Whether you’re a developer, a driver looking to make smarter choices or an automaker producing electric vehicles, find out how our location mapping technology can help you.

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