SAN FRANCISCO — Dutch navigation company TomTom has selected Ketchum its US PR agency of record as it tries to position itself as a player in the future of transportation, the Holmes Report has learned.

Ketchum won the account in a competitive pitch, the agency said. It is charged with driving awareness of the breadth of TomTom’s products beyond its portable navigation systems — a category that’s taken a hit over the years due to the competition from smartphones.

A booster of autonomous vehicles, TomTom has moved to modernize mobility through location-based and mapmaking technologies, navigation systems embedded in vehicles and fleet management and connected car services, the company said.

“We have a powerful story to tell the US market about TomTom’s role in the future of transportation — from enabling location-based applications to powering autonomous transportation and smart city mobility,” said Sandra van Vreedendaal, TomTom’s VP of corporate communications. “We needed an agency partner to help us navigate those industries and find ways to let our story shine through; Ketchum is that partner.”

Ketchum will provide strategic counsel, and will lead a series of product and thought leadership campaigns targeting consumers, automotive and enterprise customers, as well as the developer community, the agency said.

“TomTom pioneered the personal navigation device category, and since then it has designed and developed innovative navigation products, software, and services that power hundreds of millions of applications across the globe,” said Lisa Sullivan, executive VP and director of Ketchum’s North America technology practice. “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to play a part in defining and telling the next chapter in TomTom’s story.