Nokia has today unveiled (after teasing the announcement yesterday) a new suite of HERE apps for auto manufacturers to take advantage of. Offering a end-to-end driving solution, Nokia will be aiding car makers to bring the driver to the cloud, integrate with other services and provide a rich experience that doesn't get in the way of driving the vehicle. Your next car may just be powering some Nokia HERE services.
These new services include HERE Auto, HERE Auto Cloud and HERE Auto Companion. The company has also been working hard to improve HERE Traffic with a brand new system to process data more efficiently than previously possible. Nokia will be showing off HERE Connected Driving at the International Motor Show in Frankfurt, Germany, starting on September 10th.
It's a large move by Nokia, but one that makes perfect sense. Working hard on perfecting its navigation and mapping service, Nokia has managed to create a suite of tools that would work well with drivers of today who are digitally connected. We're not simply talking about basic navigation either as drivers will be able to use the services to synchronise routes and other personal details, information about their car and devices, finding the perfect parking spot or closest petrol station.
Nokia's venturing into the car to aid drivers.
So what will these new apps do?
HERE Auto is billed as the first embedded in-car navigation experience that delivers the correct map at that moment, without a data connection. Drivers can enjoy voice guided, turn-by-turn navigation in 95 countries in 2D and 3D views. Nokia will be opening up development to car makers with an SDK to enable the extension of functionality (entertainment, social networking and more).
HERE Auto Cloud provides drivers with always-on access to several services to aid with the journey, such as real-time traffic updates, helping drivers avoid congestion, road closures or blockages. Since this is HERE we're talking about, drivers will also be able to check out recommendations on places to eat, where to park, or even where to charge an electric vehicle.
HERE Auto Companion will be the mobile and web deployment, keeping drivers connected even outside the vehicle. Much like companion apps being released by car makers themselves, HERE Companion will enable drivers to synchronise their favourite places and routes across multiple hardware so they won't have to deal with setting up prior to travelling.
Since you'll not be in your vehicle, you'll be able to take advantage of walking navigation, public transport routes and indoor venue maps we've come to know and love from Nokia. LiveSight augmented reality will also be used to locate where a car currently is, as well as listing car status (fuel, tire pressure, etc). It sounds rather rad.
Lastly, we have HERE Traffic. Improved by using their engine, "Halo" Nokia has been able to process data more efficiently to provide accurate weather readings, reports on traffic congestion and other factors that could affect the journey. Drivers will be able to use improved time estimations to plan ahead for reaching their destination.
HERE Companion will bring HERE auto to Windows Phone.
Thilo Koslowski, VP of Automotive at Gartner, had the following to comment on Nokia's announcement:
"By 2016, the majority of consumers in mature markets will consider in-vehicle web-based data access a key criterion in their automotive purchase. Successful connected vehicle solutions will add value to the connected driver’s digital lifestyle and enable integrated cross-device experiences relevant for people everyday."
Nokia is definitely investing in the future with technology to help improve the driving experience. The company signed deals with multiple brands last year to provide location services. With vehicles playing an important role in today's transport infrastructure, it would be almost wrong for Nokia not to use its services to work with auto makers and provide rich solutions while on the move. We're sure to learn more at the International Motor Show.
If you're not able to take advantage of this new technology, fear not as there's always the suite of navigation apps on Windows Phone, including HERE Maps and HERE Drive that provide a rich experience in turn-by-turn navigation. But it's always cool to have such services already built-in, right?