I was just too late to pick up my camera this afternoon when are special equipped car showed up under our balcony, just at the corner of Lausanne and Pully, Switzerland. It looked at first view like the Google streetview car, with an elevated camera on the roof and a set of equipment on each corner of the car’s roof. Only, it did not carry the name of Google, but that of Tomtom. The car had a Belgian car registration number, so it was a bit off track.
And later, on our way to enjoy the Lausanne carnaval, the same car passed us, in the direction of the railway station, and it happened again too fast to make a picture.
Fortunately, I was not the first one to notice these Tomtom cars with a streetview outfit. Different Tomtom cars have been spotted in France and Belgium in 2011.
What is the story, is Tomtom going to dabble in this successful Google venture? Most of the reports on Tomtom streetview cars are in Dutch or German. Tomtom says in a few of these reports it is not planning a streetview like, but only use these cars since 2004 to make their existing maps more efficient.
Well, since they are looking for different business models to survive, using these data for other service could be a good idea.