Providing a Glimpse into What the Autonomous Future Will Look Like
The role of geomatics has evolved drastically since Roger Tomlinson first conceptualized the notion of combining geographic information with emerging computer technology back in the 60’s.
These days, spatial data is growing at an exponential rate, faster than ever before. Almost 90%, of the world’s data that has been produced or collected during the past two years, and by 2020, more then a third of all data will pass through the cloud.
The concept of collaboration and strategic partnerships with partners in other sectors that share similar visions is nothing new to HERE. Originally started from a combination of Navteq and Nokia Maps, HERE was built upon a strong mapping and satellite navigation framework with the knowledge to go with it.
Their vision for the future of spatial based services and a strong belief of the importance of accurate mapping has helped establish them as one of the largest companies specializing in location technology.
Just like Google has established them as the go-to people for Searching, or Amazon has for online shopping, HERE has established themselves as the location technology experts.
This was my first time attending the CES so to be honest was not sure what to expect. I was told that close to 200,000 people would be there and that CES is the event that all the top companies introduce their latest technology related gadgets (everything from cell phones to cars). Therefore I should not have been surprised that the HERE booth was not actually a booth in the conference center like most other companies had but actually an impressive two story building constructed out in the parking lot.
The main focus of the exhibit was showcasing how location technology is leading the way, and included several demos involving smart cities, autonomous vehicles, fleet tracking, advances in mobility, managing drones, and high speed transportation.
Using state of the art displays, over sized high-resolution screens and custom animation, they wowed visitors from the moment they stepped inside. Some of the highlights that I was able to take back from my time spent with the various staff of HERE are included below with various links that provide much more information.
HERE Open Location Platform & Connected Services
”I want you to imagine a city, where, everything is connected and fully autonomous cars are on the roadways.
Those cars share a constant stream of data to the cloud, and to each other, reducing traffic incidents to near zero. They move efficiently, so pollution is massively reduced. In the air, drones provide delivery services. They also inspect buildings, survey crops, and create 3D maps of our skies to optimize flight patterns.
Automated fleets are the norm. Deliveries are planned using the traffic data shared by automobiles, so road blockages for double-parked delivery vehicles are a distant memory.
Each of these systems is powered by open data, and each shares data back into the system for others to leverage. Each one informs the other, making each service better and more intelligent. That is the collaboration that the Open Location Platform enables.” Edzard Overbeek (CEO of HERE Technologies)
It unites different vertical markets bringing people together from a huge range of other industries, creating new ways of sharing and visualizing our world. Users can access the various open data assets, creating opportunities through partnerships and collaboration, many services like road hazard and traffic warning, road sign recognition and parking aps all utilize the Open Location Platform.
The explosion of Internet of Things (IoT) related devices where we are now witnessing sensors being installed on almost everything from automobiles to lamp posts, only makes it more critical to have efficient and reliable places to store and share data. Several of the demos at CES also indicated that we will see an increased demand for fleet management, on demand planning and even drone delivery, all of which will make use of the Open Location Platform to share data.
- The HERE Open Location Platform – The platform for location intelligence https://www.here.com/en/products-services/innovation/here-open-location-platform
- The HERE Reality Index™ – A digital representation of the world https://www.here.com/en/products-services/innovation/reality-index
The Future of Transportation
Later inside, we were provided with details on the high speed system and how location based technology have been combined into one single, intelligent user-face, that would not only allow customers to book Hyperloop trips, but also plan their entire journey including getting to and from the station to their other destinations. For an example, a trip for someone to travel from where they reside in Los Angeles to the CES in Las Vegas (about 440 km) would only take about 30 min.
Many people are aware of the funny looking cars with the equipment attached to the top of them that Google uses to generate the millions of miles of Street View data.
HERE has a similar fleet of vehicles equipped with GPS, IMUs, 360-degree cameras and LiDAR sensors. However this fleet does much more than just scan the surroundings as they drive. Data collected is combined with the reality index, the open location platform & other connected services to help create more reliable mapping data, in the end making driving safer and more efficient.
New car navigation systems are moving away from just displaying typical navigation maps to more robust smarter systems that can depict what’s happening ahead of you down the road, providing intelligent recommendations based on real-time data, and helping drivers avoid situations like traffic or accidents.
Over the past few years, autonomous driving has moved from a concept to a reality; however autonomous vehicles require more accurate information about our roads and its surroundings. Through a combination of on-board sensors and connections to the cloud, artificial intelligence can leverage a new type of mapping data. Mapping data designed with machine learning and artificial intelligence in mind.
Using an innovative service called self-healing maps, crowd sourced data from on-board sensors can be constantly scanning and updating maps in real-time allowing vehicles to be proactive, predicting and preparing for situations using critical information before they arise.
“When you think about it, when our country was first settled, horseback riding was the most popular form of transportation, therefore almost everyone knew how to ride a horse.
Things have changed significantly over time, and now very few people actually know how to ride a horse.
In an autonomous future, artificial intelligence will be driving cars for us, and the interior of vehicles will become an extension of our living and working space.
Then perhaps, very little people will know how to drive a car!” Christof Hellmis (HERE Vice President, Strategic Programs)
- Highly Automated Driving – Next-level vehicle automation https://www.here.com/en/industries/automotive/autonomous-driving
- A new navigation standard from HERE and Audi – https://360.here.com/a-new-navigation-standard-from-here-and-audi
- HERE Safety Services Suite brings actionable intelligence to your car https://360.here.com/here-safety-services-suite-brings-actionable-intelligence-to-your-car
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