New Technology Aims to Update Maps on the Fly

New Technology Aims to Update Maps on the Fly

A company is hoping that vehicles around the world can join forces to help update navigation maps in real time.

HERE, a division of Nokia, has published an interface specification that shows how data gathered by vehicle sensors can be sent to the cloud in order to update maps on the fly. Published under a Creative Commons license, the company believes “there is a need for standardization in terms of how the cloud ingests this sensor data for this system to work.” The specification HERE is proposing for sensor ingestion interface is something that automakers could adopt.

Recently, automotive technology firm SBD predicted that by 2020, over 30 million vehicles will be sold each year with built-in connectivity. That means over 163-million terabytes of data will be generated annually by the dozens of on-board cameras and sensor technologies.

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The idea is that maps can “heal” in real-time, reflecting changes as they occur, helping create a more reliable automated car. The problem is, on-board sensors are made by a variety of manufacturers all following a different protocol, making it painfully difficult, if not impossible, to streamline all the data to one source.

HERE is hoping to spearhead standardization for the industry and is inviting key industry players to have a joint discussion on how to move forward with implementation, using the specification as a starting point.

“You have all these different car makers that are working towards connectivity and we can only reach this critical mass by collaborating and sharing data,” said Dietmar Rabel, product management director on the automotive driving side of HERE. “There is not a single car maker that can do it by themselves. To integrate various input will be essential to define a standard.”