Nokia wants in on in-dash navigation with Here Auto

Last November, Nokia introduced a cloud-based mapping service called Here for smartphones. Now the company wants to integrate Here Auto into your car's navigation system, and it has some features that could make it a legitimate alternative to other navigation options.

According to Nokia's blog, the service consists of a navigation program that can be embedded into a car's navigation system, the smartphone companion app and a cloud service. Here Auto is best used with the smartphone companion app - Nokia designed it with smartphone connectivity in mind. The service features a trip planner accessed via the companion app or the website; voice-guided, turn-by-turn navigation in 95 countries; traffic rerouting; fuel price listings; street-level images; parking availability and indoor maps when approaching a destination.

Perhaps the slickest feature of the system is that it can give users voice-guided directions whether there's mobile coverage or not, but the system needs it to give real-time map updates such as traffic and weather.

Nokia is teaming with Continental, a parts supplier that works with Google and IBM, to shop around for automakers that want to integrate it into their vehicles' navigation systems. Nokia says Here Auto already is integrated into Continental's next-generation Open Infotainment Platform. For right now, however, the companion app is only offered on Android and Windows Phone.

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