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Connected Driving 3 min read

Engineering the new navigation experience

Engineering the new navigation experience

Consumers require that information about the world is always available, easily accessed, and accurate up to the minute. Smartphones, smart TVs, and even smart watches have been at the forefront of establishing that standard. Meanwhile, car navigation systems have remained... not as smart.  HERE is taking an approach that will change that in a landmark way.

In-vehicle navigation users have not had it easy.  Not so long ago, your in-dash navigation system was likely locked to the model year of your car.  Map updates came only every few years.  Few systems could connect to the internet.  If you wanted to update the map information, you needed to send off for a CD, or worse yet, take your car to the dealership.

This illustrates the first challenge that car manufacturers face: drivers want a system that can be easily updated.  Drivers and passengers want access to the newest possible maps, route information, and up-to-the-minute traffic data.  This means that the system must be connected to a cloud, and that cloud needs to receive, process and send robust intelligence about the real world.


A different approach for navigation is mirroring a smartphone to the in-dash screen.  This is excellent for providing a familiar app experience, but the lack of integration limits how smart the car can be.  For example, a smartphone app cannot merge information with what the car can report about real-time speed or fuel efficiency.  In addition, the information is limited to a single, central screen.  Lastly, if the smartphone loses connection, the navigation is done.

One can take from this is that an embedded navigation system should be able to work both on and offline.  Additionally, the information the navigation system produces is more useful if it can send information to multiple places. This could include multiple in-dash screens, rear-seat entertainment systems, a driver HUD, and even your smartphone.

Building Blocks

These insights and lessons form the building blocks of the next generation of navigation system.  The software needed for maps and locations is one block.  The cloud network that perpetually distributes data is another block.  The ability to integrate an external app intelligently is another block.  All of these blocks have to fit together, which is what HERE engineers have been working on.

The good news for drivers is that this isn’t future talk.  This is happening right now.  HERE has already partnered with Audi to create a system which integrates navigation across a mobile app, the in-car navigation, and multiple screens inside the Audi A8.  The approach will continue to be developed, providing drivers a better, more seamless navigation experience.

Bradley Walker

Bradley Walker

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