Preparing autonomous vehicles for the road

TomTom, the location technology specialist company, is partnering with the University of Amsterdam (UvA) to launch Atlas Lab. Part of the Innovation Centre for AI at Amsterdam Science Park, the research lab will be dedicated to developing safe and accurate high-definition maps for autonomous vehicles. 

Five PhD students will work in the lab over the next five years. They will focus on creating AI systems that automatically recognise things like traffic lights and stop signs in addition to using the vehicles’ cameras, sensors and other technologies to map and communicate with fellow road users. The lab will operate with a €3 million budget, €2 million of which will come from TomTom. 

An emissions-free future

In a statement to the UvA, TomTom CEO Harold Goddijn said the company is “pushing the boundaries of the use of AI for making HD maps for self-driving cars. We need ground-breaking 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.”

Amsterdam Science Park, which will host the new lab, is an internationally recognised hub for entrepreneurship, research and education. It’s home to over 100 companies, including science and tech startups like Metrica Sports, which makes software for athletes, and Aiir Innovations, which develops AI that improves the maintenance of aeroplane parts. The University of Amsterdam Faculty of Science and Amsterdam University College also have their campuses there. 

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