Daily Management Review

Data on Traffic Conditions to be Shared by HERE as Three Automakers Team up to Share Data


Data on Traffic Conditions to be Shared by HERE as Three Automakers Team up to Share Data
As an industry first, drivers of cars would now be able to see for themselves what live road conditions are like miles ahead using data from competing automakers. This facility, in the form of an app and traffic services, would be introduced by German digital map maker HERE this week.
Traffic signs including temporary speed limits, on-street parking, detailed video views of traffic jams or accidents and potential road hazards like fog or slippery streets are the four services that would be provided by the Berlin-based company which is owned by Germany's three premium automakers.
Since the four companies had bought HERE for 2.8 billion euros ($3.1 billion) late last year from mobile equipment maker Nokia NOK1V.HE of Finland, this is their first big collaboration on a project with HERE and BMW, Daimler and Volkswagen will all contribute data to the service. HERE said that in the near future other automakers are expected contribute data from their vehicles and to join the project.
HERE said on Monday before the opening of this week's Paris Motor Show, the new live traffic services are set to hit the road in the first half of 2017. HERE said that with millions of vehicles expected to contribute live traffic feeds by the end of 2018, hundreds of thousands of vehicles from the three German automakers are set to begin feeding visual data into the HERE system supplying these services.
"You have competing brands which are putting their data together to create very unique services which were not possible before," Bruno Bourguet, HERE's global head of sales, said in an interview.
Alerts on driver dashboards using the HERE services would be provide to the users after translation of data collected from vehicles participating in the network, drawn from brakes, windshield wipers, headlights, location systems, cameras and other sensors.
Analysts say that rivals such as Google, Apple, Tesla and TomTom have access to data from far fewer vehicles to collect so-called crowd-sourced data and thus HERE would  have a substantial lead over such technology rivals by collecting sophisticated data from millions of cars on the road.
"Crowd-sourced data is crucial for live traffic/maps and the size of the user base will be key to differentiation," UBS said in a recent report.
For human drivers and computers of systems for autonomous cars, for which real-time road data is a pre-condition for replacing human drivers, an increasingly comprehensive view of road conditions around the world will be built eventually as other automakers contribute data for these services.
With much of the traffic data collected confined to very limited roads or city-level projects, efforts to realize the potential for connected cars have relied on efforts by individual car makers or technology suppliers to date.
The auto industry and other businesses that need more than static maps for new connected car services, including municipalities, road authorities, smartphone makers or mobile app developers would be offered live traffic data according to HERE’s plans - which provides location data to carmakers, businesses and consumer mobile apps.