Although Nokia may not be crushing the smartphone competition anymore, the handset maker is hoping to make a name for itself in another arena: in-car navigation. Nokia just announced HERE Connected Driving, a mapping solution that will help car manufacturers and in-vehicle technology suppliers connect the car and the driver to the cloud. That connection means better navigation, mapping, and related location info for drivers based on real-time data.
In case you aren't yet familiar with HERE, it's Nokia's mapping and location business. HERE already works across multiple screens and operating systems to help people navigate using more than 80,000 data sources, as well as voice-guided navigation. Nokia reports HERE is available in more than 50 languages, used across 95 countries worldwide. It also offers live traffic information for 34 countries.
Nokia is clearly on to a potentially profitable market opportunity with 'connected driving'.
"By 2016, the majority of consumers in mature markets will consider in-vehicle, web-based data access a key criterion in their automotive purchase," predicts Thilo Koslowski, VP of Automotive at research firm Gartner. "Successful connected vehicle solutions will add value to the connected driver's digital lifestyle and enable integrated cross-device experiences relevant for people everyday."
That's a mouthful indeed, but the bottom line is that soon our cars will be as well connected to online information as our phones and computers already are.
HERE Connected Driving technology is designed to help manufacturers solve the problems that drivers face everyday, such as synching routes and other personal information across their cars and devices, as well as finding the right parking spots or closest gas stations.
The offering is customizable and comes with a fully flexible framework that allows automakers to differentiate the driving experience.
Connected Driving solutions include HERE Auto, HERE Auto Cloud, and HERE Auto Companion. Let's take a look.
HERE Auto is an embedded in-car navigation system that promises to deliver the right map at the right moment with and without a data connection. The system offers drivers turn-by-turn, voice-guided navigation and 2D, 3D and satellite map views including street level imagery. Nokia is also planning a software development kit that will allow the company to create entertainment, music and social networking apps.
HERE Auto Cloud gives drivers always-on access to several services, including real-time traffic updates that aim to help drivers avoid congested areas, road closures or blockages that occur en route. Drivers can also get recommendations on places to eat, information on where to charge an electric vehicle or where to find the most inexpensive fuel.
HERE Auto Companion is a customizable mobile and web application that works to keep drivers connected outside of the car. The app lets drivers synchronize their favorite places and routes across their devices so that they won't need to re-enter their routes when they get in the driver's seat. Drivers could use the app to remotely find their cars with their devices using LiveSight augmented reality technology and check their cars' vital stats such as fuel levels and tire pressure.
HERE Traffic now includes "Halo," a new data processing engine. The company said it is collecting more data every month, including probe points and sensor information, to deliver real-time information such as weather, traffic congestion, road construction and other factors that affect a drive. HERE Traffic promises improved travel time estimates.
Nokia says its HERE Connected Driving solutions will be demonstrated at the International Motor Show in Frankfurt, Germany starting on Sept. 10, with more announcements expected at that time, regarding which car makers will be integrating the new technology.