AUDI AG, in a consortium with the BMW Group and Daimler AG, purchased HERE Technologies, one of the leading software companies for digital navigation maps and location-based services, from the Nokia Corporation at the end of 2015. As a globally leading developer and provider in this field, HERE produces high-resolution, digital navigation maps and offers region-specific services. The central project is HERE HD Live Map. This provides the digital basis for future piloted driving. The new data platform depicts the traffic space as a three-dimensional model that exhibits a new type of precision – precise to the centimeter instead of the meter and dynamic instead of static.
The HERE HD Live Map has three layers: The first, the HD Map, contains a digital image of the surroundings. Guardrails, traffic signs, curbs and similar fixed objects are the reference points to which the self-driving cars of the future can orient themselves precisely. In addition, there is a database with information on hotels, shops and restaurants.
The second layer of HERE HD Live Map is Live Roads – a dynamic layer that provides nearly real-time information on such factors as construction zones, accidents, emergency vehicle operations and black ice. Live Roads content comes primarily from the sensors of participating cars. The intelligent swarm constantly generates comprehensive and always current information about traffic events such as green waves in city traffic, changing speed limits and available parking spots.
The third layer has to do with humanized driving. Future piloted cars will learn from the HERE data pool about choices the owner made in a specific situation resembling the current one. This enables them to modify their driving behavior to match the owners’ preferences.
The HERE HD Live Map consists of tiles, each two kilometers by two kilometers in size. This allows the immense volume of data to be broken down into manageable portions. The data is hosted on the HERE backend. Data transfer from and to the cars take place via mobile network. The LTE standard already offers great potential here, but future solutions promise even higher data rates and faster establishment of connections.
For Audi customers, the map makes complex driver assistance functions such as traffic jam assist and the predictive efficiency assistant even more precise and performance-enhanced. HERE is continually extending its IT competency network by adding new partners.