Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Volvo team-up for talking cars

Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Volvo team-up for talking cars

A MOBILE phone-based mapping company once owned by Nokia is about to let cars from three of the world’s biggest luxury brands talk to each other.

HERE, Nokia’s mapping and location services company bought by Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz for €2.5 billion in 2015, will now allow cars from each of the brands to share information. Volvo has also signed up to the partnership, and is already using the company’s data in Australia.

“It is the first global service on the market that integrates live vehicle sensor data from Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz vehicles with traffic probe information, resulting in significantly higher accuracy and more precise information about traffic conditions,” HERE said in a statement.

“HERE Real-Time Traffic, available to all current and future customers from any industry and covering more than 60 countries, offers significant improvements in traffic flow data, especially on arterial roads,” it said.

“For more than 30 of those countries, the service also provides incident information with features such as Traffic Safety Warning.

“Aided by new hard-braking sensor data HERE is now processing, this feature now allows more relevant and timely notifications to the vehicle.”

That means any vehicle from any one of these brands using the service will soon be able to warn the cars around it if the driver – or the car via its automatic city braking – needs to slam on the brakes to slow down in a hurry.

According to HERE, its service was already collecting data “from millions of Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz cars, with the fleet size expected to further grow during 2018 and beyond”.

The traffic system will soon be joined by other advanced driver assistance systems including a hazard warning that taps into the car’s electronics to monitor slippery road surfaces or extreme weather, road speed sign recognition, and an on-street parking function that shares knowledge of available spaces with anyone nearby.

According to the HERE website, the European company already has its cars out mapping roads in Victoria, south-east South Australia, the south-west region of Western Australia, Perth, regional NSW and south-east Queensland.

The company also already supplies over-the-air map updates to Volvo’s cars in Australia, including the XC90, S90, V90 and V90 Cross Country. It will do the same thing for the upcoming Volvo XC60 premium SUV due on sale in Australia later this year.

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