Tomtom and UvA carpool to plan the route for autonomous driving

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Location technology specialist Tomtom and the University of Amsterdam (UvA) today announced the launch of a new public-private research lab. The Atlas Lab will focus on using artificial intelligence for developing advanced, highly accurate and safe high-definition maps for self-driving vehicles. The research has a five-year budget of 3 million euros, 2 million of which is contributed by Tomtom. The lab is part of ICAI, the national Innovation Center for AI, based in the Amsterdam Science Park.

In collaboration with Tomtom, UvA is embarking on research on the use of AI for creating HD maps suitable for all levels of autonomous driving. For the next five years, five PhD students will work in the Atlas Lab on projects contributing to automated recognition of items like traffic signs, 3D localization of vehicles and combining lidar and camera images. Mapping vans equipped with these sensors are being used for retrieving data.

Credit: Tomtom

Theo Gevers, one of the scientific directors at the Atlas Lab, comments: “At UvA, we’re already doing research on automated recognition of items in images and videos. Yet, the recognition of items and the creation of HD maps in highly complex situations like a moving car is still a huge challenge. This collaboration with Tomtom provides an extra dimension to new and challenging AI-research.”

“Tomtom is pushing the boundaries of the use of artificial intelligence for making HD maps for self-driving cars,” says CEO Harold Goddijn. “We need groundbreaking research into AI technology, which is why we’re collaborating with UvA’s world-leading AI department on this initiative. This will move us a step closer to an autonomous future with safer roads, free of congestion and emissions.”