Nokia announced this week that it is bringing the HERE mapping and navigation services to automobiles in the coming months. The firm revealed a new in-dash navigation system called HERE Auto that will be bolstered by new and improved services and a HERE companion app for both Windows Phone and Android.
Exciting? Yes, though I'd like many more details about which cars may be getting this system. And this one is a bit personal, as I'm in the market for a new vehicle. The firm promises more info at the Frankfurt Motor Show (IAA) on September 10th.
"We believe that a connected car isn't just about putting a smartphone in vehicles," Pino Bonetti writes in a post to the Nokia Conversations blog. "We believe that connectivity creates vast new possibilities for the automobile industry. HERE Auto and HERE Auto Companion app aim to take advantage of those possibilities and bring our vision of a connected car to life."
Here's what Nokia has announced:
HERE Auto. This is an embedded in-car dashboard navigation system. It features turn-by-turn voice-guided navigation in 95 countries and 2D, 3D and satellite map views including street level imagery. In the future, Nokia will offer car makers a software development kit (SDK) so they can extend and customize HERE Auto, adding entertainment and other apps. HERE Auto will come to market "in the coming months," Nokia says.
HERE Auto Cloud. This cloud service provides HERE Auto users (i.e. "drivers") with "always-on access to several dynamic services such as real-time traffic updates, helping drivers avoid congested areas, road closures or blockages that occur en route." It includes recommendations for places to eat, parking spots, information on where to charge an electric vehicle, or where to find the least expensive fuel.
HERE Auto Companion. This mobile app, which will be made available for Windows Phone and Android, will sync favorite places and routes across devices so that you won't need to re-enter them in the car. And using the aforementioned SDK, auto makers can access HERE services to provide walking navigation, public transit routes and even indoor venue maps in their own custom mobile apps. These apps—which will come from auto makers—could help drivers find their car, or check the car's fuel levels, tire pressure and other stats, all from their phone.
HERE Traffic. An updated version of the HERE Traffic service utilizes a new engine codenamed "Halo" that is much quicker and more accurate than the previous version. "Every month we're collecting ever greater numbers of high-quality data, such as probe points and sensor information to deliver real-time information such as weather, traffic congestion, road construction and other factors that affect a drive," Nokia says. "With our new Traffic product drivers get improved travel time estimates, so they can better plan their routes and quickly re-route on the go." If you use the HERE apps' traffic functionality now, you know this can often be behind real-world conditions, so any improvement here is welcome.
This is an interesting development, and I can't wait to find out more. But given the timing, something tells me I won't see this in my next car. Maybe the one after that.