TomTom's RoadDNA system helps anyone build a self-driving car

TomTom has launched RoadDNA, a product aimed at bringing self-driving car tech to more potential developers. The system captures 3D roadside data from depth sensing cameras and compares it to a database of images, letting vehicles know their exact position on the road, even at high speeds. The mapping company said it takes "vehicle data storage and processing limitations in mind," by converting the mass of 3D data it collects into a manageable, optimized 2D view of the road. TomTom said earlier that the RoadDNA database takes up just 25 Kb per kilometer of road.

The company said the system also works despite changes in the environment, meaning it can adapt to fresh snowfall, leaves falling off of trees or new road signs. It would have to be paired with GPS systems, obstacle detection and other tech to be used in autonomous systems. Nevertheless, it's a key piece: "We know that the future of automated driving hinges on the ability of a vehicle to continuously know exactly where it is on the road," said TomTom CEO Harold Goddijn.