Verizon and TomTom work for emergency vehicle safety

TomTom and Verizon hope to show emergency responders what they will see as they race through an intersection on a call. (TomTom)

TomTom and Verizon announced a collaboration on Wednesday to use location information and fast wireless networks to help make intersections safer for emergency vehicles that are responding to calls.

The two companies will work to make it safer for ambulances, police cruisers and fire vehicles by using TomTom High Definition Maps combined with Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband network. Their work follows the global Vision Zero initiative to end fatalities and serious road traffic accidents.

The companies are working together at the Mcity Test Facility at the University of Michigan test bed for autonomous vehicles.  They are exploring how 5G connected cars, traffic lights and cameras at intersections can improve pedestrian safety and avoid all accidents.

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TomTom said about an estimated 6,500 accidents involving ambulances and 300 police cruiser pursuits lead to injuries or fatalities in the U.S. each year. Over a decade there were about 31,600 accidents involving fire vehicles.

Their work involves using TomTomHD Maps to create a 3D visualization of an intersection with near real-time kinematics and Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband to share location information from all the various cameras and sensors at an intersection with emergency vehicles in near real-time with “near-perfect reliability and accuracy,” the companies said in a release. 

The companies presented their progress on the work at TechCrunch Disrupt SF in San Francisco.

TomTom also launched TomTom Map Styler, a free tool to help designers customize detailed and fresh maps for web and mobile apps. This way they can create custom map styles according to their brand.

Developers can already integrate maps into an app with a few lines of code in TomTom Maps API, but the Styler will make it easier to create custom map styles. There are 900 map features to allow developers to pick color, patterns, font size and more. TomTom has a self-service portal for developers.

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