idalab seminar #21: How TomTom is using AI to Create World-Class Maps and Traffic Services for Autonomous Driving

For over a decade TomTom has been creating consumer devices for navigation routing people from A to B as fast as possible. One of the key components in routing is the availability of a high-quality map.  While initially maps were being produced in a very laborious way involving a significant amount of manual work, map productization is nowadays becoming more and more automatized.

This talk shows the advantage of using AI to automate the map-making process. Another key ingredient to providing a great routing experience are connected services. TomTom devices were one of the first to be “connected” and were able to inform drivers about the traffic ahead to even avoid congestions. This talk illustrates how AI is used to infer traffic incidents based on GPS data. It concludes with a few more involved examples underlining TomTom’s transition from a consumer device company, to an AI company with automated map creation and autonomous driving in prime focus.

Thursday, October 17th, 7 pm | doors open at 6.30 pm | Potsdamer Straße 68, 10785 Berlin

You can also find the event on Meetup and join the idalab seminar Meetup-Group.

A video of the talk will be uploaded to Vimeo.

About: For our idalab seminars, we invite scholars, data scientists, business experts and big data thought leaders to discuss their work, gain new perspectives and generate fresh insights. idalab seminars are open to all interested parties.

After the talk, we invite you to stay for drinks. We’re looking forward to seeing you there!


Sören Sonnenburg  has a background in core computer science, a field in which he also did his master. In his academic career, he has been doing research in machine learning for over a decade. He did contribute to both theory, software and applications to Bioinformatics at the Fraunhofer and Max-Planck Society. He received his PhD in Machine Learning from TU-Berlin with honors. Both his master and Phd thesis were honored with nominations or prizes (Hugo Geiger Preis; Nomination GI- Dissertationspreis; Nomination ERCIM Cor Baayen Award as one of two Germans). He has established the machine learning open source software track in the renowned journal of machine learning research. Currently he is working at TomTom where he also won an innovation prize and is now leading the TomTom AI geospatial research lab (TAIGR) as its director.