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From automated cars to automated streets

At the Frankfurt Motor Show (IAA), acatech, the German academy for science and engineering, officially handed over a position paper on “automated mobility/traffic in the future” to the German government.

Together with other industry leaders, scientists and scholars, HERE was part of the project group contributing to the paper and working on six concrete recommendations for action. They are intended to pave the way for automation and a new kind of mobility in the age of connectivity.

Traffic jams, stop-and-go, noise and pollution – we all know that navigating the city can often be arduous. But there is hope. The automation of mobility has the potential to significantly increase traffic safety and in conjunction with other technological advances like electronic mobility and the integration with public transport – reduce the negative effects of mobility like noise and pollution. It can also facilitate social participation through easier access to mobility.

But in order to bring its full potential to life, a broad collaboration across industries, science and governments is needed.

HERE has always been a strong believer in collaborative efforts to move general industry topics forward. The latest example is our recent effort to establish a universal data format with other automotive companies for how information from vehicles is transmitted to a location cloud. That’s why we were also happy to contribute to the acatech position paper and its recommendations for action.

Bernd Fastenrath, product marketing manager for HERE, explains: “We live in an age of rapid urbanization, creating huge opportunities, but also causing challenges for mobility. Automation can help build more sustainable systems, but to make the most out of it you cannot view it in isolation. Which is why the first recommendation we are giving to the German government is to broaden the perspective and think about it in conjunction with connectivity and infrastructure.”

According to acatech, there is immense added value in connecting vehicles to infrastructure and integrate them with traffic management systems and cloud-based services. Already today, HERE delivers HD Live Maps, traffic alerts and other automotive services like fuel and parking information, improving the flow of traffic and making navigating the city less of a pain. For realising the full potential of these connected services, standards need to be established for communications and decision making processes.

choosing parking facility

Large amounts of data, including personal data, are needed to bring automation to life at scale. Here it is important to find the right balance between privacy, safety and the opportunity for new, innovative business models.

Michael Bültmann, responsible for governmental relations at HERE and spokesperson of the working group for digital business models within the acatech project, says: "The majority of today’s data protection regulations stem from a different time, when data-driven business models didn't really exist. Today, it is important that governments adapt these regulations to the 21st century and the new digital age."

Therefore, acatech is making the recommendation to the German government to work on a regulatory privacy framework that enables data-driven innovation, but at the same time obligates the industry to prevent data misuse.


Here is an overview of the six recommendations for action by acatech:

  1. Establish a consolidated view on automation, connectivity and infrastructure.
  2. Create a step-by-step program for the evolution of automated driving.
  3. Create “living labs” for test purposes.
  4. Develop and introduce standardized principles for men-to-machine interaction in cars.
  5. Enable data usage for connected and automated vehicles.
  6. Advance the legal framework to guarantee legal security for automated driving.
  7. Establish an innovation program for automated mobility in the future.

On the acatech website, you can read the whole acatech position paper. Based on these recommendations, the acatech project group is now working on a concrete road map until 2030, substantiating the individual steps needed and identifying concrete measures for each field of action identified. HERE will continue to play an active role in these efforts.

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