A TomTom vehicle with its logo in front
Source: Yahoo Movie

TomTom to cut 500 jobs due to automation advancements
Chopping 10% of its workforce, the Dutch consumer technology blames automation tech

A vehicle with the TomTom logo
TomTom to cut 500 jobs because of advancements in its automation tech.
Source: Yahoo Finance

On Wednesday, June 1, Dutch Consumer Tech firm TomTom stated that it is laying off 10% of its global workforce owing to advancements in its automation technology. Along with it, the firm stated that it was due to the greater use of its digital techniques in the process of mapmaking.

Reportedly, the said job cuts would come to around 500 workers at the geolocation tech specialist based in the Netherlands. The tech firm was significantly hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, and is clearly still in recovery mode.

TomTom chief executive office Harold Goddjin gave in a statement regarding the latest advancements. He stated how ‘higher levels of automation,’ along with the collaboration of a range of ‘digital source’ would give rise to ‘fresher and richer maps, with wider coverage.’ Moreover, he specified how these improved maps would enhance their ‘product offerings.’ Resultantly, allowing them to ‘address a broader market,’ notably in the businesses of both Enterprise and Automotive.

In its Annual Report from 2021, TomTom stated that how its products and services are nurtured by the mapmaking platform. Notably, this platform makes use of a blend of machine learning, along with cartographer skills for data integration through a range of sources. Mainly, it makes use of added automation with customers data that is being fed into a location.

In a statement, chief executive Goddjin pointed how advances in the ‘mapmaking technology’ would result in ‘material efficiency gains.’ Along with this, the advanced maps would significantly ‘strengthen’ their ‘competitive position.

“Regrettably, this will have an intended impact on approximately 500 employees in our Maps unit, equivalent to around 10 percent of our total headcount,” TomTom added, saying it is still assessing the financial implications for the division.

Evidently, the pandemic had a profound effect on a wide range of tech business since early 2020, with lockdowns somewhat benefitting some of them. However, the Dutch consumer tech’s business was hit rather unfavourably where its 2019 turn over of $758.8 million dropped to $543 million in 2021.

As specified in a report from PwC, smart automation could expectantly boost global gross domestic product from Artificial Intelligence by $15 trillion by the year 2030. Moreover, the report stated how the ‘extra wealth’ would give rise to demand to several jobs. However, concerns exist regarding how it could displace several jobs which are already in place.

Reportedly, PwC went on to assess about 200,000 existing jobs across 29 nations. The estimates showed how 3% of jobs would be in danger in the early 2020s, with about 30% by 2030 mid. Additionally, its stated how automation’s effect would vary across different industries. For instance, the transport industry would expectantly be threatened significantly with a  maximum of half the roles at risk. Contrastingly, the health sectors’s risk is much below the average.