Remember last week's news that German automakers were being accused of collusion? Here's a case where working together might pay off for drivers. Mapping expert HERE is launching a Real-Time Traffic service that pulls aggregated data from sensors in Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz vehicles that are actually out driving the road, making it the first commercial traffic service of its kind that collects real-time information from vehicles from competing carmakers, according to HERE.
The car companies involved are actually all part-owners of HERE, however, after the mapping business was spun out of Nokia in 2015 and sold to the competing automakers as a joint venture. The HERE Real-Time Service is available to any customers across any industry, however, and boasts big improvements in features including traffic flow data, with a reach that extends to over 60 countries.
In over 30 of the countries on that list, HERE also offers Traffic Safety Warning information, which will identify incidents on the road, as measured by hard-braking data. This allows real-time notifications to vehicles that could potentially prevent the worsening of these accidents.
HERE is also in the process of adding more commercial vehicles as data sources for the Real-Time Traffic function, with "millions" of active vehicles in terms of consumer Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz vehicles on the road already.
Clients for the service could include autonomous car technology companies, but also current Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) as well as ride-hailing companies, urban transit authorities, city planners and logistics providers, to name a few.
Written by Darrell Etherington for TechCrunch.