In late 2015, Audi jointly purchased the HERE maps database from the Nokia Corporation – in a consortium with the BMW Group and Daimler AG. HERE, one of the most important suppliers in the industry, produces highly precise digital navigation maps and location-based services for nearly 200 countries and in over 50 languages.
“Our environment is constantly changing. That is why we must continually update the information in digital maps,” says Ricky Hudi, Executive Vice President Electronic Development at AUDI AG. “HERE provides the foundation for new infotainment, connectivity and assistance systems. HERE gives us more independence. And especially important for the future: HERE gives us an excellent database for further extending our lead in the field of piloted driving.” Piloted driving is currently experiencing rapid development. It will require an entirely new and highly precise type of mapping materials. Today, static HD maps by HERE provide 3D models of the road network, transportation infrastructure and your environment that are accurate to the inch.
The next step will be to link the maps to real-time information from real traffic events. The cars acquire this information themselves via their cameras, sensors and control systems. This information might include speed limits detected by traffic sign recognition or road conditions such as black ice. In the future, much more information will be added, which will all will be verified and evaluated as a data stream in the Cloud. The relevant information will be continually fed back to participating vehicles. Stringent data protection rules will be applied here.
This swarm intelligence will deliver a tremendous societal benefit. It will enable real-time hazard warnings, e.g. of critical weather events, vehicle breakdowns, accidents and forming traffic jams. One of the next steps will also be to predictively prepare a car’s control systems for curves or sections of road that are in poor condition. As a result, driving will become more convenient, and above all safer.
The future data exchange between vehicles and the infrastructure will offer special benefits in cities as well. Displaying and integrating traffic light phases into vehicle control systems will make it possible for cars to “swim” with the flow of traffic on a green wave with high efficiency.
Using data from the swarm, it will in future become easier to find available parking spaces and to plan your personal route incorporating bus and rail transportation.
Along with HD maps, HERE also provides a large database of information on hotels, businesses, parking places and events. The continually growing volume of data from the vehicle’s surroundings makes a number of location-based services very attractive to the user and will be tailored to be more convenient, more connected and even more focused on individual needs.
HERE will remain an open, independent, continually extended and updated platform for Cloud-based maps and mobility services – accessible to all customers of the automotive and other industries.
Equipment, data and prices specified in this document refer to the model range offered in Germany. Subject to change without notice.