You can’t admire the butterfly without crediting the caterpillar. With all the hoopla around the driverless car, it’s easy to overlook the systems and processes that make Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) and automated driving features possible.
According to Aria Systems co-founder Brendan O’Brien, the car of the future “is on its way to becoming the most sophisticated mobile device in the Internet of Things.” With the cloud connecting wireless technologies, smart chips, sensors, and onboard computers, the next generation of children may never even need a driver’s license.
But despite the magnificent technology powering this connectivity, maps are found at the heart of ADAS and other automated driving features. Without map precision, how will these cars know where to go, how to get there, and the fastest/safest route to take? Far more important than the many bells and whistle that adorn fancy driverless cars are sophisticated mapping technologies that ensure we get from Point A to Point B safely.
It’s no surprise, then, that HERE (the former Nokia mapping service now owned by Audi, BMW, and Daimler) recently announced a new cloud-based mapping service that includes data about permanent infrastructure like the number of lanes a highway has. HERE’s service also pulls temporal data like real-time construction or traffic and analytical data like the average speed humans drive on any road.
According to Floris van de Klashort, HERE’s VP of Automotive, “As we move towards higher levels of vehicle automation, drivers need to feel that their car is making the right decisions on their behalf. When it comes to trusting your car, having consistent real-time awareness of road conditions near and far is absolutely critical.”
With this technology, when sensors detect a change in speed limit or obstruction in the road, the data is sent to the cloud so other cars in the area receive the information with enough time to alter cruise control, switch lanes, or change the route. HERE’s clients (automotive manufacturers, etc.) depend on and value fast response times for their sites and services so their customers (drivers and consumers) feel confident, safe, and secure on the road.
And while HERE’s recent news focuses on the allure of powering the driverless car, its opportunity to monetize its mapping services extends far beyond the automotive world. For example, HERE’s platform also markets to those developing for consumer-facing apps and games with an offering that upgrades exiting web or mobile products with maps and location services.
There is one thing that’s clear. Whether marketing for consumer or for enterprise, HERE appeals to a wider audience and subsequently continues to grow its revenue because it takes advantage of tiered and usage-based billing models. Depending on the services requested and number of monthly transactions, HERE offers a variety of plans with different price points: free, starter, standard, advanced, and professional. So whether you’re a major auto manufacturer implementing real-time traffic updates into a built-in navigation system or a developer for popular location-based mobile application, HERE has you covered.