Connectivity in traffic: Cloud-based navigation

The map creator HERE has developed a new technology for the interconnection of cars in traffic. Real time data shall make traffic safer.

Der Kartendienst Here hat vier neue Dienste für die Automobilindustrie auf Grundlage von Fahrzeugsensordaten vorgestellt. Sie sollen die Sicherheit und den Komfort verbessern. Photo: Here

The map creator HERE presented four new services for the automobile industry on the basis of car sensor data. They shall improve safety and comfort. (Picture: HERE)

Initially, HERE was founded by the Finnish mobile phone company Nokia. The idea was to allow navigation on their mobile phones. One special feature of the map service HERE was the independence of networks with the data stored on the device.

For this purpose, Nokia had taken over the US company Navteq and -for some time- had become market leader in the matter of mobile navigation. However, in 2015, Nokia sold its navigation business to a consortium of the three German car manufacturers Audi, BMW and Mercedes.

On behalf of German premium brands

Under the special guidance of the automobile industry, HERE, that meanwhile can be used on numerous operating system platforms, shall be developed to a universal system promoting connectivity in traffic.

Now, the company has developed a system that allows the interconnection of accordingly featured vehicles and is able to provide a depiction of the real traffic situation. Modern vehicles are equipped with numerous sensors and communications interfaces. They determine their position via GPS, they are able to collect information about temperature and route data. Also lateral and longitudinal acceleration can be measured, braking manoeuvres can be registered accurately.

Moreover, cameras and radar systems like pedestrian detection or distance based semi-autonomous driving are available. Even the steering of modern cars is electrically driven. In 2018, the so-called eCall system will become mandatory for new cars Europe-wide. It allows the car to send data about its current location, telemetric data and possible accident situations via mobile network.

Networking via the Cloud

The new system of HERE wants to collect and process all these data. This allows assessing the road condition on the basis of wheel slips. Rain sensors can provide insight into the weather conditions. Car cameras are able to map the environment.

All the data, forming some kind of swarm intelligence shall be fed into one centralised computing system and distributed in real-time to all participating vehicles.

The aim is mainly to increase accident safety – the info about a sudden traffic jams behind a hilltop or an icy road in a bend of the road is automatically forwarded to the cars that are interconnected in the Cloud. The driver receives a warning in good time, if necessary the security systems of the car get activated.

HERE plans to put this system on the market already in mid-2017, first for the vehicles of the three manufacturers of the ownership consortium and later for the user of other car brands as well.

Read more: Digitalisation: Connected cars increase road safety

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