IT Field of Competence Smart Mobility: Reference Story HERE
HERE and the future of mobility
From electric vehicles to autonomous driving, from car sharing to multi-modal transport options – the mobility landscape as we know it is changing at rapid speed. Right in the middle of it: HERE. One year after being acquired by Audi, BMW and Daimler, the company is working hard on next generation of digital maps and location-based services for people and businesses.
Already 130 years ago the Invalidenstraße 116/117 in Berlin-Mitte was at the heart of techno-logical innovation when in 1893 the Deutsche Edison-Gesellschaft – an AEG predecessor – built the first ever light bulb. Today the Edison-Höfe located at this adress are home of HERE, the Open Location Platform company, that is paving the way to autonomous driving and the future of mobility.
Berlin is one of the key global sites for HERE, next to Berkeley, Chicago, Eindhoven, Mumbai. Around 1.000 of the 7.000 global employees from HERE are based here. Coming from all over the world and representing more than 60 nationalities they are making the site into an inter-national melting pot between Nordbahnhof and Naturkundemuseum.
One year ago HERE made global headlines when Audi AG, BMW Group and Daimler AG – all three normally fierce competitors – joined forces to jointly acquire HERE from Nokia. This un-usual step was an industry-first. It was motivated by the key realization of the three automo-tive leaders that the future of mobility lies in a digitized world and that HERE has a unique set of capabilities and services that play a key role in that future.
Maps for people, maps for machines
These capabilities are rooted in maps and location intelligence. And as mapmaker, HERE has long dreamt of creating a precise representation of the world in digital format – one that pre-cisely recreates the territory it seeks to represent. But at the heart of that endeavour lays a great paradox: the closer to reality a map becomes, the less useful it tends to be. Maps have historically been abstractions of reality by necessity. They need to simplify as people don’t need to know every inch of the territory to orient themselves.
But what if map data is not only designed for direct consumption by people, but also to be read by machines capable of processing vast quantities of information? When maps can be build that need to be understood only by software then the paradox falls away: one can in-deed have a map that is close to 1:1 scale, thereby maximizing its usefulness to a machine such as a self-driving vehicle.
Today in Berlin and elsewhere HERE is working on evolving the map into a live representation of the world, giving us a second-by-second view of our cities and road networks. This map will be life-changing for people: it will power location services that improve mobility for people and enterprises, make driving safer and more enjoyable, and reduce emissions.
Next-generation automotive services enabled by industry collaboration
Ahead of this year’s Paris Motor Show in late September, HERE demonstrated how such ser-vices could look like when it announced a new generation of automotive services based on real-time sensor data generated by connected vehicles. These services – HERE Real-Time Traffic, HERE Hazard Warnings, HERE Road Signs and HERE On-Street Parking – provide up-to-date information on everything from potential road hazards, to traffic updates and on-street parking.
Data services like these would not be possible without collaboration within the automotive industry, in-particular regarding the collection and analysis of vehicle sensor data. The new HERE services are the world’s first harnessing sensor data from competing automakers to improve the driving experience, while reducing both traffic congestion and the risk of traffic accidents.
Starting with Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz cars this level of collaboration within the auto in-dustry is a key step forward in not only ensuring safer driving, but also in the realization of the autonomous vehicle. Hence HERE is planning for other automakers to be able to contribute their vehicle data as well. For HERE CEO Edzard Overbeek it’s clear: “We are showing together what a collaborative, secure and open approach can bring. These new services are just the beginning.”
Looks like there will be even more innovation coming out of the Edison-Höfe in Invali-denstraße in the years to come.
Photo: © HERE
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