Southfield, Michigan: The digital map maker acquired by BMW AG, Audi AG and Daimler AG is rolling out a real-time traffic service that warns of road hazards and helps find parking spaces by utilizing the sensors and cameras mounted on board the luxury models of its owners.
The service that will debut early next year is the first use of automotive sensors to provide crowd-sourced data to give drivers immediate information on traffic flow, according to a statement from HERE, the unit acquired from Nokia Oyj in 2015 for $3.1 billion.
The driving data generated by the German luxury cars will provide more detailed information than the crowd-sourced traffic service offered by rival Waze, owned by Alphabet Inc.’s Google, according to Nicholas Goubert, head of platform product management for HERE.
Digital maps have become a heated battle ground in the drive for autonomous cars, which require highly detailed images of their surrounding to navigate without a human driver.
Google paid $1 billion for Waze in 2013, and Ford Motor Co. in July invested in Civil Maps, a California start-up that creates three-dimensional maps for self-driving cars.
HERE’s traffic service, debuting at this week’s Paris Motor Show and sold to the world’s auto makers, shows how digital maps could connect to autonomous driving.
In addition to providing information to drivers, the service can trigger a car’s automatic brakes to avoid a highway hazard.
“A local hazard warning will not only be sent to the driver, it will also be sent to the car’s assisted-driving system so that the car itself can start braking before the incident," Goubert said. Bloomberg