Around the world in 80 days by electric motorcycle – part 3 – navigation

By | 2 minute read | October 28, 2016

In this series we follow the ‘Storm Wave’ electric motorcycle as it tours the world in 80 days. This week we look at TomTom’s involvement. You can read about the team’s mission and how they got started in part 1 of the story including the involvement of NXP and KPN  who’ve helped with communications infrastructure. TomTom, a global leader in navigation and mapping products, provided the motors and cars of Project STORM with their navigation software, maps and TomTom Bandit action cameras.

tomtom navigation guides stormpulse electric motorcylce to the golden gate bridgeTomTom navigation and cameras guide StormWave and capture the action

According to Paul Hesen, VP Custom Systems automotive at TomTom, the company has shifted its focus to software components instead of the electronic devices it´s known for. “With the upcoming transitions in the market, in which autonomous driving cars and Internet of Things are key, technology plays a crucial role in disrupting the conservative automotive industry.”

Collaborate with students and universities

By providing the motors and cars with navigation software and maps, TomTom considered STORM to be the perfect platform to show the world the ease with which TomTom software could be integrated into vehicles. Another incentive to join was the possibility to support the Eindhoven region and to collaborate with the university and the students. In order to enable the students to shoot and share footage of their trip, TomTom provided the project with action cameras. Hesen admits that if they on boarded the project earlier on, pretty cool things could have been added from the TomTom side: “just think of the possibilities for battery range optimization when it’s connected to our navigation software. We could then take the characteristics of the motor into account while planning a route.”

Navigation for an impressive hi-tech motorcycle

Paul Hesen was surprised by the thoroughness with which the STORM participants progressed towards their journey: ‘’the automotive industry is enormous, and the fact that a small group of students built a complete, hi-tech motorcycle is very impressive. Still, there remains one big difference between STORM and the vehicle industry: when producing on a large scale, everything must be altered accurately, while the motors of Project STORM didn’t have to be altered that precise and leave room for adjustments.”

The latest action from the StormCycle

Optimistic about the future potential

Because the students produced a vehicle this advanced in a relative short period of time, Hesen is optimistic about their potential achievements in the future: ‘’New technologies force the industry to change and improve its productivity. Electrical vehicles take a bigger market share each year, which will force the traditional players to reinvent themselves. These students have gained a lot of knowledge and will contribute to this transition.”

The project was also supported by Itility and The Weather Company, an IBM Business, who will be featured in forthcoming blog posts in this series. You can follow the progress of the STORM project via the links below or catch up on part 1 or part 2 of the story: