Creating a digital representation of reality

17th Mar 2017
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Thirty years ago, we set out to make paper maps in cars obsolete. Now we are taking the driving experience from hands-on to hands-off. Tomorrow, maps will morph into something else entirely — when everything physical will become digital. We are no longer a map company, but a data company; one that is preparing for a world of increasingly autonomous machines.

Yesterday I spoke at Bosch Connected World 2017, where I discussed how massive disruption is now upon us. Following on from yesterday’s post, I want to take a closer look at how digital platforms are giving way to new business models — car manufacturers are becoming mobility service providers; telecoms are converting to content and entertainment providers; and internet companies are conquering consumer industries like retail, banking and automotive.

Add to this broad innovation, an accelerating pace of change, close to 2,000 megacities, machines that can learn and teach and an impending 10 billion people. Then, layer on enormous amounts of data. How do we make sense of our world today?

Location is the answer; it’s at the core and links all these factors together, and our reality index will organize us through place and time.

Facilitating collaboration

To enable such intelligence, we’ve opened our location platform to aggregate and process many sources of data and support sharing of information. We recognize that no single company or government can achieve scale alone, so we chose to become the facilitator of collaboration.

Our vision is not just about one segment, but many; new insights and possibilities for all industries and people. We are creating an enormous index of the physical world, comprising data from HERE and third parties, about people, places and things in our world. Think about the platform as providing access to a vast digital representation of the world.

The reality index

We are capturing and organizing real life as you live it to drive improvements in the standard of living for everyone. And we’re pushing the boundaries by going beyond roads to include surfaces of the Earth like fields, mountains and rivers. We’re adding more data from more things such as drones, sensors, cameras and chips.

We are taking into account the human experience, through understanding usage and behavior and relationships between people, places and things. We are adding spatial and aerial factors and delving into the fourth dimension.

Happening now

Much of this is happening now. Let’s imagine a scenario where three remote workers want to come together to collaborate on a project face to face. A bot helps them figure out the ideal location — one that is equidistant to where they live, available and meets their meeting requirements.

Next, everybody is proposed transportation options that fit their personal preferences and needs. Lisa chooses an e-scooter, Paul books a Car2Go and Mark hops on a bus. Depending on the vehicle, HERE presents the optimal navigation view.

The bus’ system recognizes who is sitting in which seat and gives customized views on the screens to give people more relevant information to their locations. The meeting goes well. Work is done.

At the end of the day, Lisa receives a message from a friend about dinner that evening, asking her to bring a few things along. A digital assistant automatically creates a shopping list and suggests where to go. Instead of returning by scooter, Lisa decides for the deliver to car2Go option, where the goods are delivered directly to a vehicle rented for her nearby.

Access to the vehicle is automatically granted for the grocery store to deliver and a robot packs the items into the car she had reserved. The trunk closes automatically. At the pickup area, Lisa’s car has already been delivered from the garage knowing she had arrived. The car sounds a chime sound and projects her personal symbol, so she knows its hers.

You see, location not only affects how we move, but also how things move towards us.

Invitation to partner

Our initial three automotive company investors, Daimler, BMW and Audi have given us unique access to car sensor data and the automotive industry. Additional strategic partners like Intel, Mobileye and Nvidia open up the offering. And our new Chinese investors Tencent, NAVINFO and GIC unlock 30% of the growth market in the world; not to mention our new partnership with Pioneer in Japan.

We are open. We invite you to partner and help us digitize reality for a better world for everyone.