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Real-time traffic & more connected car services from HERE

here_press_hero-rgbHERE announced that real-time sensor data generated by connected cars will supply data for the HERE Open Location Platform, giving drivers a real-time view of the road through four services.

The services – HERE Real-Time Traffic, HERE Hazard Warnings, HERE Road Signs and HERE On-Street Parking ­­– provide up-to-date information on everything from potential road hazards, to traffic updates and on-street parking.

The services are available to any automaker, municipality, road authority, smartphone maker or app developer to license.Starting with Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz cars, with plans to expand to other brands.

Traffic information services available to drivers have so far relied on GPS probe data – regular location information reported from a connected device. These real-time services from HERE, however, will crowdsource the much richer data generated by sensors deeply embedded within the car.

The news release says that participating brands are helping create superior services for drivers aimed at significantly reducing traffic congestion, enhancing the driving experience and cutting traffic accidents, which each year globally claim more than one million lives and leave millions more injured.

HERE believes these services will also support the automotive industry’s broader market introduction of advanced driver assisted systems and, later, autonomous driving solutions.

The HERE Open Location Platform will process vehicle-sourced data related to:

  • Speed, direction and location of a vehicle.
  • Hard braking, as denoted by sharp deceleration.
  • Road construction, lane/road closures and traffic events such as accidents, as detected by the vehicle’s forward camera.
  • Hazard light usage.
  • Hazardous weather or road conditions, as determined for example by rain sensors, heavy use of windshield wipers, loss of tire traction or fog light usage.
  • Traffic sign information, including permanent and temporary speed limits, as detected by the car’s forward camera.

The HERE Open Location Platform will harness the data to deliver four services (summarized below). For each service, firstly it ingests and processes data from each vehicle. Secondly, it combines the data with HERE location data services and other third-party information derived from devices, vehicles and infrastructure for deep and real-time analysis. Thirdly, it distributes enriched, targeted and actionable service content back to connected and eligible vehicles across the road network.

HERE Real-Time Traffic provides real-time traffic information enhanced with the new streams of data. The the feed shows hard braking alerts; jam tail warnings, with improved coverage and positional accuracy; and traffic flow, with more precise and granular data also for lower-class arterial roads.

HERE Hazard Warnings provides hnear real-time information about potential hazards, including accidents and extreme weather events, such as slippery roads and reduced visibility.

HERE Road Signs provides near real-time traffic signage information, including permanent and temporary speed limits, which is useful for both the driver as well as for cars equipped with connected ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems) such as adaptive cruise control.

HERE On-Street Parking provides information to drivers showing roads where parking is or is not permitted for each side of the street; availability predictions and time-to-park estimations for each street and at the particular time of day based on historical driver data; and streets with paid, free or lower-priced parking options.

For this service, HERE utilizes probe and sensor data from connected cars in combination with parking data from other sources to build greater awareness of on-street parking options and help mitigate a perennial headache for motorists and cities.

HERE plans to make these four services available to any automaker, municipality, road authority, smartphone maker or app developer to license. As connectivity and vehicle sensor technologies become more pervasive across the industry, HERE also plans for other automakers to be able to contribute their vehicle data.

After the services are enabled, no driver input is required to transmit or receive data, ensuring the driver’s focus can be on the road, and not on a smartphone or other external device.

Privacy has always been at the core of HERE’s strategy and HERE has designed and developed its platform with the privacy of the individual in mind. HERE is committed to respecting the user’s privacy and complies with applicable data protection and privacy laws.

The data HERE plans to use from Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz vehicles in the provision of these services will be anonymized with no personal identifiers so as to ensure privacy for drivers.

HERE plans to make the services commercially available to any customers both within and outside the automotive industry from the first half of 2017.