Here and Automakers Team Up for Traffic Data

audi-here.jpgDigital mapping firm Here is introducing a new set of traffic services this week that will enable drivers to monitor live road conditions for miles around them by using data from competing automakers.

Here is owned by a consortium made up of BMW, Daimler and Volkswagen, who will all contribute data to the service in an industry first. It marks the three firms first major collaboration since purchasing Here for €2.8bn (£2.4bn) late last year.

“You have competing brands which are putting their data together to create very unique services which were not possible before,” said Bruno Bourguet, global head of sales at Here.

The data will go towards four different offerings which will provide drivers with detailed video views of traffic jams and accidents, on-street parking, road hazards including weather, and traffic signs including temporary speed limits.

The services will hit the road in the first half of 2017, and Here is reportedly seeking to partner with other automakers in the future who will also contribute data from their vehicles. Renault-Nissan and auto supplier Continental have both previously expressed interest in joining Here.

The crowd-sourced data from millions of vehicles could give Here a substantial advantage when it comes to developing advances in autonomous vehicles, which the consortium is reportedly also interested in.

As more companies join, the real-time data will become more comprehensive and enable both human and computer drivers to avoid congestion and hazards. The data could also prove valuable to road authorities and even governments looking to plan future developments.