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Automotive Features HERE at Mondial

Photostory: HERE graces the world’s best new cars at Mondial

The world's best autumn car show, the Mondial de l'Automobile in Paris, is on until 19 October. It's packed with car debuts in every class from city cars to super-powered sports machines. They pretty well all have integrated navigation systems.

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Each of them runs graphic skins and operating systems that mate with their own manufacturers' overall interface philosophies. Some are touch-screens, some use different kinds of joystick or tethered mouse, and they have various degrees of speech recognition. Some don't reside in the car itself, but in a mirrored smartphone.

But one thing over 50 out of 62 of those new-car systems have in common: their mapping comes from HERE. Let's take a walk around some of them.

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Audi's TT Roadster (above and top) follows hot on the heels of the summer's TT Coupe in using an new all-TFT instrument panel. Because this is a sports car and hence driver-centric, it's all placed directly ahead of the steering wheel – there's no central console screen.

When pure driving is what matters, the screen is configured with big round virtual dials. But extra areas of it can be given over to phone or entertainment when those become relevant. And for navigation, the instruments shrink to leave room for a dramatic extra map and arrow real-estate. It's all controlled by steering-wheel switches and a large tactile controller near the gear lever.

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Fiat's 500X (above and below) is available with a 6.5-inch screen under Fiat-Chrysler's UConnect brand. It features 3D maps, progressive route guidance and 'One Shot Voice Destination Entry' to enter addresses with voice commands.

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Ford's new Mondeo (below), S-Max and Mustang are several 2014 vehicles from the manufacturer using what it calls the Sync Gen 2 system, which uses a large touchscreen and natural-language voice commands. The photo is of the Mondeo, showing traffic and fuel icons.

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Jaguar Land Rover is launching an all-new infotainment system, seen in Paris on its two classy debutants, the Jaguar XE sports saloon and Land Rover Discovery Sport sports-utility vehicle (below). The mapping display features highly detailed 3D modelling, and for the Land Rover there are also extensive features to help navigate when off-roading. These include 'breadcrumbing', where the map shows a series of dots of the course travelled from the last road, so you can always re-trace your steps.

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One of the star sports cars at the show is the new Mercedes-AMG GT (below), a slinky and superfast two-seater. It might wear the classic long-nosed sports car outline, but it doesn't want for technology. The navigation is Mercedes' full-house COMAND system, with multiple input methods, each of which can direct your way. Whether you're most comfortable with voice commands, buttons or gestures, the same job can be done with any of them.

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The Mini 5 Door (below) has a big central screen sitting in a cute round housing, but again the tech is right up to date, and the nav system features HERE's very accurate and granular traffic info, which can also be overlaid onto the map.

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Opel's new Corsa supermini (below) uses HERE mapping stored in the user's smartphone within the BringGo app. This reduces the cost of the system in a price-sensitive sector of the market, allowing navigation and speech turn instructions to be displayed on the car's colour screen and played through the speakers. Android phones connect via Bluetooth and iPhones via the USB cable. And out of the car, it gives you phone maps without using your data allowance.

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Peugeot's new GT version of the 308 (below) sits at the top of the range of the current European Car of the Year. Navigation is one of the functions integrated into a screen system that also houses climate, infotainment, connectivity and apps, allowing Peugeot to build a car with a minimalist dashboard scrubbed clean of most of the usual buttons and knobs.

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The new Volvo XC90 (below) runs a large central tablet responsive to fingertip gestures, plus screen-based virtual instruments ahead of the steering wheel, plus a head-up display. On top of its native operating system, it can run Android Auto or Apple CarPlay. HERE supplies maps, speed camera locations, POIs, search, fuel prices, weather and even variable speed limits. Though the XC90 doesn't hit the road until early next year, it's shaping up to have one of the most future-proof, configurable and information-rich dashes out there. More on the XC90 from when we announced its arrival, here.

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Our VP for Connected Driving, Floris van de Klashorst, told us: "At Mondial, HERE demonstrated the wide array of its location and mapping technology, and the extent to which its SDKs and APIs allow that information to be customised and adapted by its clients from across the automotive industry."

Which is your pick of this bevy of automotive beauties?

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