Year over year, cars are getting faster, more fuel efficient and more comfortable. Driver assists like anti-lock brakes and traction control continue to increase vehicle maneuverability. However, even vehicles equipped with the most advanced sensor suites fail to see the road ahead when they’re driving behind a truck, nor can they see the road around the corner. The HERE Safety Services Suite aims to correct that.
The World Health Organization reports there were 1.25 million fatalities in 2013. The National Safety Council reported that traffic fatalities in the U.S. increased 6% in the in 2016. Imagine if those numbers were cut in half? What if those numbers were reduced to zero?
It will take more than one safety feature on one car to get us closer to a significant reduction in incidents on our roadways, which is why we’re launching a suite of intelligent, connected solutions enabled by swarm intelligence called HERE Safety Services.
Road Signs and Hazard Warnings
We’ve been providing Real-Time Traffic information for some time. Right now, we’re adding two new services that enable any road vehicle - be it with a human driver or be it a highly automated vehicle - to make more informed decisions: HERE Road Signs delivers up-to-date traffic signage information like speed limits to the vehicle in any weather or traffic conditions. HERE Hazard Warnings delivers information about the hazardous road conditions ahead, like heavy rain, fog, slippery roads, and broken-down vehicles.
BMW will be the first automaker to incorporate HERE Safety Services starting in mid-2018. Drivers in Europe and North America will benefit from all the elements of the suite, which is powered by the Open Location Platform (OLP). This will give BMW drivers a constant, near-real-time view of the road around them.
The BMW Group introduced the first stage of local hazard warning based on intelligent connectivity and car-to-car communications in 2017. The next generation of BMW vehicles providing live sensor data to HERE is expected to grow quickly after launch, surpassing more than ten million vehicles in 2019.
Collaboration is key, and this makes HERE Safety Services unique. No single automaker is an exclusive contributor of information. Rather, multiple automakers contribute anonymized roadway information into the OLP. That information, transformed into an intelligent service, is then provided to all other cars on the road.
In other words, a complete picture of the road ahead may be formed by information sent by BMW, Audi, Mercedes, or any other car manufacturer that is connected to the OLP. What’s more, as more auto manufacturers and partners contribute data into the OLP, the fresher and more exacting the representation of the road network is. This enables all road users to drive in a safer and more informed manner.
Another element that makes Safety Services unique is the fact that by providing data to the OLP, car manufacturers can monetize their sensor data. Automakers that contribute data for the development of these services are provided a share of the revenues based on the quantity and quality of information that is fed into the OLP.
Safety across platforms
We’re not the only ones looking to enhance driver safety. Government and regulatory agencies like the Euro NCAP are becoming more and more demanding of automakers. The more safety services that are built into new vehicles, the higher their scores with these types of agencies.
All of this information is ready to be put to work. Be that through the In-Vehicle Infotainment system, or through the driver’s head-unit display, or even to a mobile device. HERE Safety Services can even be extended to deliver real-time information to a city or government monitoring center, where data enables faster and more informed human decisioning.