Here Platform to 'Vehicle-Source' Traffic, Weather Data

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The joy of driving is often marred by parking woes, construction-related traffic jams, or bad weather. So digital mapping service Here is collecting real-time driving data from cars on the road in order to improve safety and the driving experience.

Ahead of this week's Paris Motor Show, Here outlined how its Open Location Platform can provide up-to-date traffic information, as well as data on potential road hazards, upcoming road signs, and on-street parking availability using "previously untapped vehicle sensors."

The platform sounds a bit like in-car Waze in that it sources data from multiple cars ("vehicle-sourced data" as opposed to crowdsourced, Here says) on the road to provide drivers with a better picture of what's happening around them, whether it's traffic or bad weather conditions.

Specifically, the platform will tap into four services: Here Real-Time Traffic, Here Hazard Warnings, Here Road Signs, and Here On-Street Parking.

The traffic component will take into account how much cars are braking, for example, to determine if there is traffic in a certain area. Other actions these systems will take into account include whether you used your hazard lights, turned on your fog lights, or turned the windshield wipers up to a high setting. Forward-facing cameras, meanwhile, will scan road signs for things like temporary speed limits or detours.

On the parking front, Here said it wants to reach "agreements with more OEMs" to launch an On-Street Parking service, though details are scant.

The platform will initially collect data from Here's German auto affiliates: Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz. But it will be commercially available to any customer within and outside the automotive industry, Here says.

"I believe that with this data, we'll not only be able to improve our services, but also address broader issues in society and the development of the autonomous vehicle," Matthias Mohlig, head of product management for Here automotive services, said in a statement.

"Here believes that industry collaboration is essential to address the major challenges faced by road users everywHere," CEO Edzard Overbeek said. "What we are seeing today is the technology and automotive industries coming together to create services that will elevate the driving experience for billions."

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