HERE Technologies betting big on Location as a service, here’s why!

For autonomous driving and connected cars, carmakers have to depend on location data and mapping platforms such as HERE Technologies. Location data is equally important for fleet operators, food delivery apps and public transit users.

By:Updated: Jan 13, 2020 7:35 AM


When Volkswagen wanted to make adaptive cruise control (ACC) in the Golf 8 hatchback predictive, a challenge it faced was that curvature, junctions and roundabouts were not easily detected by cameras and radar alone. HERE Technologies had the solution, with its HERE Advanced Map, which has data on speed limits, curvature, even elevation. Once applied, the Golf 8 was able to predict bends, junctions or roundabouts on the road in advance, and amend the speed accordingly.

What is predictive driving?

Cruise control is found in most cars—it keeps the speed of a car stable. The next level is ACC, in which cameras and radar help a car keep a calculated distance from a vehicle in front. The latest is predictive cruise control—with the help of navigation data, GPS and sensors, the system predicts bends, junctions or roundabouts, and amends the speed accordingly. It’s a step towards autonomous driving. While the Volkswagen’s is just one example, HERE Technologies has numerous products for automotive, transportation & logistics, even public transit users, including HERE Navigation On-Demand, HERE Lanes, and APIs such as HERE Public Transit and HERE Intermodal, some of which it announced at last week’s CES in Las Vegas.

“We go into the new decade with a huge amount of excitement, opportunities and momentum,” said HERE Technologies CEO Edzard Overbeek. “At CES, we demonstrated the power of our platform to customers, partners and developers across industries. From addressing congestion to improving driver safety and supply-chain efficiency, location data and technology are at the heart of solutions in the digital era.”

HERE Navigation On-Demand: It’s a SaaS-based solution for vehicle-centric navigation.

HERE Lanes: It’s a digital representation of the global road network that enables a vehicle to position itself in a lane, while providing drivers with lane-level visual guidance. Essentially, it helps increase driver awareness and road safety through Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS). Mattias Eriksson, the senior vice-president & head of HERE Product, said, “HERE Lanes improves the functioning of ADAS lane-keep assist when lane lines merge onto highways or intersections, or when optical sensors on-board have limited visibility due to fog, rain or snow, providing automakers and software developers the data they need to improve today’s ADAS functions in all-weather conditions.” It’s part of the company’s portfolio of automotive solutions to support all levels of vehicle automation.

HERE Last Mile: Fleet operators and food delivery apps need a solution that helps them combine route optimisation and navigation systems, to reach the customer on time. HERE Last Mile helps the driver find the best route by providing turn-by-turn navigation, with real-time information on traffic flow. “It also helps maximise efficient utilisation of an entire fleet of vehicles and drivers, considering constraints such as delivery windows and cost,” said Eriksson.

HERE HD GNSS: Short for High Definition Global Navigation Satellite System, HD GNSS is a cloud-based solution that enables mass market devices to achieve sub-meter accuracy across the globe. Among other things, if, for example, a driver is unfamiliar with the route, it shows the correct lane and path to navigate to the destination faster.

Public Transit and Intermodal: While the Public Transit API helps find the most intelligent way to get to a destination, the Intermodal API can inform a commuter how long it will take to drive to, say, a train station or suggest an efficient transfer to public transport. “We have aggregated public transit data, and are updating, expanding and verifying over 2,800 data sources, covering 1,900 cities in 65 countries,” said Giovanni Lanfranchi, CTO & senior vice-president of Development at HERE Technologies. “For urban commuters, this means they can plan and book the fastest, cheapest or the most convenient way to get to their destination.” For example, if a train is leaving in two minutes but the station is a five-minute walk, the Public Transit API is smart enough to know you may need to take the next connection or use a different means of transportation, something which Google Maps doesn’t support. “This API provides precise pedestrian instructions that account for features such as stairways, sidewalks, crosswalks, bridges, tunnels, elevators and escalators,” added Lanfranchi.

The Intermodal Routing API, on the other hand, combines consolidated public transit with other modes of transport, such as private car, bike, taxi or ride-sharing services, to navigate more efficiently between a given pair of locations. It also offers parking information within proximity of transit stops. Lanfranchi said an example of it solving mobility issues is the Deutsche Bahn Park+Ride app developed by HERE, Deutsche Bahn, S-Bahn Stuttgart and parking start-up Bliq to support commuters with their daily travel combining car ride and public transit in the city of Stuttgart, Germany. “The app provides routing based on real-time data on street traffic, parking availability and public transit connections, making park-and-ride offerings more attractive to users and more reliable,” added Lanfranchi.
HERE, which was once a maps division of Nokia, has now turned into an open platform that all carmakers and other users can use for navigation and mapping. As Overbeek said, “Location as a Service is already here.”

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