The automotive industry is quickly moving into the connected and autonomous car space. In the not-so-distant future, cars will be able to always have the latest maps and even know what’s around the corner. But owners of cars without an internet connection shouldn’t feel left out: they can get free map updates from HERE with the MapCare program.
Our maps change extremely quick, as HERE continually scans the world for changes. The animation below shows how the road maps for just one country – Poland – evolve over as little as 18 months.
With growing numbers of vehicles coming with in-dash navigation, the car industry faces a challenge. How will those in-car maps be kept up-to-date over the life of the vehicle?
MapCare program manager Laurent Vernerey tells us, “People get regular map updates for their smartphones, and for personal navigation devices from the likes of Garmin. So there’s an expectation that the same should be true of their car’s maps.”
In fact, a survey conducted by HERE* found that 74 per cent of respondents expected map updates to be a free part of what they receive with a new vehicle.
That’s why HERE MapCare was created. First launched with Volvo in Europe in 2009, if your car’s manufacturer is part of the program, it’s normally a part of the free service package you receive when you buy a car and lasts for around three years or more. The exact terms vary by manufacturer.
Laurent says, “Our vision is that every driver with a car equipped with a navigation system deserves an always up-to-date map, included in the price of the vehicle. HERE MapCare is poised to become the industry standard for achieving this.”
How MapCare works
Currently 23 automotive makers offer MapCare with their more technologically advanced vehicles. These are BMW, Nissan, Mercedes, Kia, Volvo, Peugeot, Citroen, Honda, Hyundai, Mazda, Volkswagen, Mitsubishi, Audi, Seat, Skoda, Harley Davidson, Tesla, Toyota, Fuso, Hino, Dacia, Isuzu and UD Trucks.
Many of Europe’s best-selling and best-known vehicles are included, such as the Volkswagen Golf 7, the Toyota Prius and the Volvo XC90.
Not all cars by all these car-makers are covered in all territories. The complexities of different distribution chains leads to a wide variety of possible permutations. But you can verify whether your vehicle has MapCare with your own dealer or car manufacturer.
The way it normally works is that, if you’ve got a car covered by MapCare, the latest updates will be a part of your regular service at your car brand’s dealership – so probably annual or semi-annual. If you aren’t sure whether your in-dash display is eligible, then all you need to do is ask them.
Car dealerships in Europe have been happy to adopt the service as it allows them to show even more value in their after-sales care, and thus increase the car owner’s likelihood of staying with them and making other purchases.
There’s also a DIY option – mainly intended for people who don’t live within practical reach of their car manufacturer’s nearest dealership – whereby map updates from HERE can be downloaded from car makers' websites and installed using a USB stick or memory card. So, when you next buy a new car, and you’re looking through the various features and specifications of different models, be sure to keep an eye out for MapCare. Fresh maps on your dash will be worth a lot to you in the years to come.
*HERE Map Update Study 2013, conducted in the United Kingdom, Germany and France.