Sat nav pioneer TomTom announced on Wednesday that it has acquired a Berlin-based autonomous driving startup for an undisclosed fee.
The startup, called Autonomous, has developed its own self-driving software, as well as 3D sensor technology and digital image processing technology, TomTom said.
Autonomous was founded in 2012 by two academics who had worked on autonomous driving research projects at the Free University of Berlin.
TomTom said the acquisition will help it to improve its map-based products for autonomous driving applications.
“This is an important development for TomTom as it will help us to continue to strengthen our capabilities for the future of driving and expand our knowledge and expertise,” said Harold Goddijn, CEO and cofounder of TomTom, in a statement. “With this deal we are further positioning ourselves as one of the leaders in autonomous driving.
Tinosch Ganjineh, CEO and cofounder of Autonomous, added: “We are proud to have been selected by the world leader in map making for bringing autonomous driving together to the next level.
“TomTom’s technology combined with our intelligent driving know-how are a perfect match to make the dream of self-driving cars become a reality.”
Berlin is fast emerging as a centre for the development of software that can be used by the automotive industry.
Here, a mapping company owned by Audi, BMW, and Daimler, employs over 970 people in the city, while Apple, the world’s largest technology company, has quietly set up a Berlin mapping team, according to LinkedIn and Business Insider sources. The Apple Maps team in Berlin largely comprises of people that used to work for Here.