Location data is at the core of any service any organisation provides anywhere in the world. For developing autonomous driving and connected cars, carmakers have to rely on location data and mapping platforms, and this data is equally important for fleet operators, food delivery apps and public transit users. A major development in this field was announced at this week’s all-digital CES 2021, where HERE Technologies released high-fidelity, 3D models of 75 city centres around the world to give software developers the geospatial data needed to build real-world visualisations of cities.
“With HERE Premier 3D Cities, last-mile delivery drivers can navigate dense cities with maps that highlight precise building dimensions and entry points along their delivery routes,” said Edzard Overbeek, CEO, HERE Technologies.
HERE Premier 3D Cities contain rich data layers and attributes that are aligned to physical geometry and terrain. “Each structure is indexed, addressable and accurate in terms of physical location, volume size, elevation and even facade colour,” added Overbeek.
Currently, the Audi A8 luxury sedan’s modular infotainment platform (MIB2+) integrates HERE 3D city models, providing drivers with the latest navigation user interface and lane-level guidance experiences.
However, of these 74 cities, none are in India. “Most of these are in the US and Europe,” said Overbeek. “But India is a very strategic market for us, not just for production of maps—we have a large presence in Mumbai with very capable people—but we also know that India is becoming a frontier of location-based services and we are working with a couple of companies to think through what we could do together to start creating a full representation of India.”
Overbeek added that creating a digital representation of a large and diverse country such as India is not easy. “It’s not as simple as, say, in some developed countries. We are building a different technique to get to that precision; once we have achieved that, I think there is a huge opportunity for location-based services.”
At CES 2021, HERE Technologies also announced partnership with Leia and Continental, to bring fresh 3D maps to vehicles—Leia is an experience platform based in Silicon Valley that creates 3D Lightfield products and software. This partnership will bring 3D maps and navigation onto Lightfield displays for automotive OEMs.
In addition, HERE announced privacy tools for enterprises to anonymise personal data and manage user consent globally. “HERE Consent Manager and HERE Anonymizer allow enterprises to create and deliver personalised data services to users around the world with confidence,” said Overbeek.
HERE Consent Manager provides enterprises with the means to collect and process personal data while the provider retains clear control over third-party data access. It is a blockchain-based system built for all data value chain participants to transparently validate and manage consent.
HERE Anonymizer offers techniques to protect personal privacy by controlling personal data characteristics while balancing to preserve its utility; for example, the processing of cellular probe data for real-time traffic services.
“We have been on a journey to become a true location platform company, and I am proud to announce that last year we completed that journey,” said Overbeek.
HERE is also providing HD mapping technology to Deutsche Bahn, one of the world’s leading mobility and logistics companies, via the HERE location platform. Germany’s railway company will utilise the technology for its new “Sensors4Rail” digital rail project. “The aim of this pilot project is to test sensor-based train localisation and environment recognition in order to increase railway system capacity, efficiency and reliability,” added Overbeek. “Deutsche Bahn will equip a train with modern sensor technology to sense and survey its surroundings as well as locate itself accurately in real time. “Ultimately, this technology set-up will enable Deutsche Bahn to keep more trains running on the tracks simultaneously.”
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