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We asked Floris van de Klashorst, who heads up connected car and smart guidance products for HERE, to describe the latest advancements.
“When we introduced HERE Auto we stepped up in the automotive world from being a content provider – that’s to say supplying maps – to a full service provider.”
“With HERE Auto we also want to demonstrate how much more powerful embedded navigation systems are over just connecting your smartphone to the car. So we’ve taken the experience to the next generation, with several big steps forward.”
Because car manufacturers are implementing larger heads-up display elements or completely redesigning the car’s dashboard, we also updated HERE Auto to show information in different places around the cockpit. “There’s always a best place for each piece of information,” says Floris. So while the main map display will probably remain on a larger screen alongside the central cluster, different elements might appear more centrally, under the steering wheel.
“So we could have a more abstract view of the most vital information in the central cluster. And then this is also context aware. If your fuel is running low, then it can start to display gas stations on your route, or perhaps only those stations belonging to the supplier you have a loyalty card with.” This extended range of screens and notifications is referred to as ‘iconic guidance’.
“The system knows what you can see, and what it could display, rules for deciding what’s important and the driver’s preferences.
“The system is now more social. The driver has the regular HERE Auto screen, as before, but passengers can now bring their own screens – tablets and smartphones – into the car which can interact with the system.”
If a passenger would like to know more about what’s around them: see the route, find points-of-interest, or even suggest additions to the route, they can do so using the companion apps for Android and iOS right on their own screen. The driver can accept suggestions and have his/her route automatically recalculated to accommodate the detour.
Alternatively, of course, he or she can ignore the suggestions. Or even switch off the capability altogether. The system also has safety measures to ensure that suggestions from the back seats don’t pop up when the driver is approaching a junction or similar situations.
HERE Auto comes as a reference system, which car manufacturers can either use as it is, or (more likely) adapt and brand to suit the needs of their own vehicles and customers.
Manufacturers can also build in other options, like entertainment and other controls, or choose to add support of Apple CarPlay, Google Auto and MirrorLink, if they like. The balance of different components can be used to bring these connected systems to mid-range vehicles, as well as the high-end, where the option of having a connected display is already nearly ubiquitous.
And there’s more adaptability to be had through a new SDK for HERE Auto which has been made available to manufacturers. Car manufacturers and systems integrators can now take the elements, information and interface of HERE Auto and redraw and reconfigure it to suit their customers and their brand.
“With these upgrades we’ve made a major step in our overarching aim to make driving a smarter, safer and more enjoyable experience” Floris concludes.
image credits: wsilver (backseat child)