Traffic congestion is an issue that virtually every driver has to contend with at some point in their life.
It affects millions of people all over the world and has serious effects on drivers at personal, business and societal levels.
Essentially, traffic stops people from getting where they want to go. 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.
In the world of business, traffic congestion is responsible for the loss of billions in productivity. Its impact on the environment, in terms of additional CO2 emissions and increased fuel consumption, is huge.
Today there is an estimated one billion cars on our roads around the world. That is a big number. And traffic congestion is a big problem that virtually every government is grappling with. Traffic officials are facing challenges around affordability constraints, increasing emissions and growing driver need.
For many drivers, traffic congestion has become inevitable – something they just can’t influence.
We think it’s time to challenge conventional thinking around traffic congestion.
There is a way to reduce traffic congestion.
Over the years, TomTom has been working on developing the very best traffic navigation system to help people get through traffic faster. We can already reduce the journey times for individual TomTom drivers by up to 15%.
In the future, when 10% of drivers use TomTom’s HD Traffic™ navigation system there will be what experts are calling a “collective effect”. Essentially, our road networks will start to balance out and we will reduce traffic congestion for everyone.
This is very significant.
TomTom has a viable, cost-effective solution here and now to reduce traffic congestion on a very large scale. This doesn’t involve building roads or introducing congestion schemes, but simply making our road flow more efficient. Millions of people driving as a collective will reduce traffic congestion for all.
In addition, every driver can contribute to traffic reduction to some extent by using TomTom HD Traffic information to plan their journey around a time when their route is least congested.
We genuinely believe that TomTom has a role to play in helping to reduce congestion in countries all over the world. But of course we can’t do it alone. TomTom is but one organisation in a large ecosystem of governments, institutions, businesses and individuals. We hope that by working together we will create better solutions, faster.
Today we are only just beginning our journey to reduce traffic congestion. Our mission is difficult and there will be many challenges along the way, but we are committed to playing our role in developing a world where everyone has more freedom to move.
We are on a mission to reduce traffic congestion for all.
We can already reduce the journey times for individual TomTom drivers by up to 15% where there is traffic.
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.
Individuals driving with TomTom’s HD Traffic navigation system are constantly connected to the internet, so when faster routes become available they are the first to know.
In the future we will reduce traffic congestion by making the best possible use of the existing road network for everyone.
We are able to succeed on this mission because of the innovations we have made in traffic navigation.
TomTom’s HD Traffic navigation system combines the world’s most accurate traffic information with dynamic route guidance technology. Rather than simply informing the driver of the current traffic situation TomTom’s HD Traffic system will actively guide the driver along the least congested route, and this in turn has a positive effect on everybody’s journey time.
TomTom’s HD Traffic information is the most accurate in the world because it covers more road kilometres on both secondary and main roads. It reports traffic jams with higher accuracy and also refreshes more frequently than any other service, with updates every two minutes.
TomTom is embarking on this important mission because we love driving and hate traffic. We know that millions of drivers around the world feel this way too.
We know that traffic congestion is not going to disappear, but we can do something significant to reduce it.
The TomTom driving community is fundamental to the success of our mission. Millions of TomTom drivers will not only reduce the impact of traffic congestion for themselves, but for every driver around them too.
We hope to increase the power of TomTom’s driving community further, with more people using our highly accurate traffic information to plan their journey around a time when their route is least congested.
We can’t conquer congestion singlehandedly and thus are eager to work with businesses, organisations and governments to make a bigger difference.
Over time we aim to quantify the impact of our traffic navigation system on three key areas – time, health and the environment.
Time - to reduce journey times
Health - to reduce stress and the impact on personal lives
Environment - to reduce fuel consumption and CO2
We are on a mission to reduce traffic congestion for all.
We can already reduce the journey times for individual TomTom drivers by up to 15%.
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.
We will reduce traffic congestion for all by making the best possible use of the existing road network.
Our Traffic Manifesto sets out the four key action areas.
We will encourage and inspire people to play a role in reducing congestion.
We will increase the availability of TomTom HD Traffic.
We will lead the continuous improvement of traffic and route guidance technology.
We will bring together key traffic stakeholders to share ideas and drive key actions forward.
Our commitment to reducing traffic congestion is genuine. We are in this for the long term. We are also committed to tracking and communicating progress against our four manifesto action areas in an open, transparent and timely way.
1. We will encourage and inspire people to play a role in reducing traffic congestion
Our mission is bold: we aim to reduce traffic congestion for all. We aim to build a community of drivers, who by driving as a collective, will cut journey times by up to 5% for all drivers. We are aiming to build our driving community to represent 10% of all vehicles on the road.
We also hope every driver will contribute to traffic reduction to some extent by using TomTom HD Traffic™ information and planning their journey around a time when their route is least congested.
To be effective, drivers need to confidently follow the traffic and route information presented to them. For this to happen, we need to educate and inspire drivers. We need to show them that a small change in their driving behaviour will have a hugely positive impact on their own driving experience. It will also have a positive impact on congestion levels around them.
TomTom’s HD Traffic navigation system is already used by over a million people across Europe. Because we know the benefits that widespread adoption of our traffic system will bring at personal, societal and environmental levels, communicating our mission is a key priority for TomTom.
While we are a commercial entity with commercial goals, we believe that cars driving with an intelligent navigation system have the power to make a huge difference to society. We are committed to getting our message across. We have invested in research projects to help underpin and inspire confidence in our navigation capabilities, and we will continue to invest further.
In the future
We will undertake a consumer awareness campaign to help people understand how making a change in their driving behaviour today will impact their own world and the world around them in the future.
We will carry out the world’s largest consumer driving experiment. The results of the experiment will provide tangible proof of the benefits of driving with traffic guidance to encourage further take up.
We will create an educational traffic roadshow where lifestyle experts and consumer champions will explain the benefits of driving with traffic information and intelligent navigation systems.
We will work with our partners to help incentivise people to upgrade to TomTom’s HD Traffic navigation system and trade-in their existing, non-connected devices.
We will reward active TomTom community drivers. We will acknowledge drivers who keep their connected devices switched on and those drivers who report traffic-related information for the good of the community.
2. We will increase the availability of TomTom HD Traffic™
If our mission is to succeed, TomTom’s HD Traffic navigation system must be made available to as many people as possible around the world. It must be available on multiple platforms. Our aim is to break down all barriers, to allow people everywhere to drive using TomTom’s HD Traffic navigation system, however they choose to do it.
We also want as many people as possible to be able to access TomTom HD Traffic information before their journey begins. So far we have only scratched the surface in terms of availability, but we are willing to work with anyone who can help take our traffic information to where people can use it best.
Our traffic technology is currently used by over one million drivers via smartphone, TomTom personal navigation devices and in future via in-dash systems. It is proven by independent tests to be greatly superior to the traditional traffic information that motorists have come to know. We are keen for more people to use it and experience the difference. We have found that once people use HD Traffic, they don’t want to go back to driving without it.
TomTom’s HD Traffic navigation system is available today in the UK, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal, Belgium, Switzerland and South Africa. By the end of 2010 it will also be available in Spain, Italy, Denmark, Luxembourg, Sweden, Finland and Norway.
We are also making TomTom traffic information available to more drivers, in new ways. Drivers can use our web-based Route Planner to get a precise picture of the traffic situation before they set out. TV channels, radio stations and internet sites around the world are starting to switch from traditional traffic information to TomTom HD Traffic information.
In the future
In the coming years we will:
Grow the number of drivers using TomTom’s HD Traffic navigation system.
Expand HD Traffic’s coverage to 29 countries.
Make our technology available on leading mobile platforms. We aim to have millions of people using TomTom’s HD Traffic navigation system via smartphones.
Build relationships with automotive manufacturers with the goal of having TomTom’s HD Traffic navigation system as standard on in-dash navigation systems.
Build relationships with global, regional and local TV, radio and internet channels and broadcasters to offer them our superior HD Traffic information. We aim to reach tens of millions of people.
3. We will lead the continuous improvement of traffic and route guidance technology
TomTom is the creator of the world’s most accurate traffic navigation system; the result of years of research and development.
TomTom’s HD Traffic™ navigation system fuses the best traffic information with a dynamic route guidance engine. The combination of best traffic information with best routing technology is completely unique.
Traffic experts agree and industry tests prove that TomTom’s HD Traffic information is the best. TomTom covers more road kilometres on both secondary and main roads. It reports traffic jams with higher accuracy and also refreshes more frequently than any other service.
Crucially for our mission, our HD Traffic information system gets better and more accurate as more people use it. We are committed to maintaining our leadership position in traffic navigation and supporting the next generation of traffic talent.
TomTom’s HD Traffic navigation system is proven to get drivers through traffic faster than any other service – and independent tests from trusted sources prove it. Over the past three years, we have invested in developing our traffic system to the high quality required to make a major impact on traffic on a large scale. We are dedicated to continuously improving our traffic navigation system in every respect, employing our industry’s best talent and partnering with leading academics in the field of traffic. We sponsor future traffic talent and support global technology projects to find new solutions to traffic issues.
In the future
In coming years, we will:
Continuously improve the accuracy of our traffic navigation system in countries around the world.
Set up and co-fund a major experiment to measure the impact of technology on road congestion and provide a technology benchmark for other cities.
Establish a TomTom Traffic Foundation, dedicated to developing our knowledge about traffic.
Build a larger network of traffic navigation partners from universities and research organisations around the world.
Develop progressively better models to predict congestion reduction and which will uncover additional areas for improvement of our HD Traffic navigation system.
4. We will bring together key traffic stakeholders to share ideas and drive key actions forward
TomTom is but one organisation in a large ecosystem of governments, institutions, businesses and individuals. Only together can we find the answer to managing traffic in the future. TomTom aims to bring together the key players looking at the impact of traffic congestion on our world, so that we can work together to find solutions to manage it.
We will facilitate discussion and debate to help us achieve our mission. We need people to get behind the idea so that we can seriously reduce traffic congestion and start to build momentum. Inertia is our greatest enemy; we need to awaken people to a new way of thinking.
We will create opportunities to draw people into the conversation about traffic congestion. We will bring together the sharpest minds and help turn their ideas into action and concrete results.
TomTom is already working with governments, institutions, businesses and individuals on a number of initiatives all over the world. These include innovative traffic trials and pilots to test new approaches and ideas.
In the City of Amsterdam and the City of Aalborg, we are working with local government to reduce urban congestion. We are working with ERTICO to bring together public authorities, industry players, infrastructure operators, users, national ITS associations and other organisations to tackle congestion. We are also an active participant in SPITS, a Dutch project that aims to create Intelligent Traffic Systems (ITS) concepts that can improve mobility and safety. In the largest German conurbation, Ruhrgebiet, we are working with research institutions and traffic consultants to improve road utilisation using dynamic navigation and route guidance.
In the future
Our plans for the future include:
Hosting an annual traffic summit, bringing together the most talented professionals in our industry.
Partnering with governments and advising on city and route planning, in order to help predict and reduce road congestion.
Partnering with environmental and green organisations, to discover new ways in which traffic management could reduce CO2 emissions.
Creating a public web space where people can contribute comments and ideas for tackling congestion. This public forum will become a place for constructive discussion and debate.
Hosting regional ‘traffic jams’ aimed at bringing students together to learn, explore and share from traffic experts and each other.
Our commitment to reducing congestion on a large scale is genuine. We are in this for the long term.
We have a very specific mission to reduce congestion for all by making the best possible use of the existing road network.
We will be open and transparent in the progress of our initiatives.
Above all, this is our public promise that we will do everything within our power to tackle congestion every day.
Anne Frank wrote: “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world”.
This is how we feel at TomTom. Nothing will get in our way.