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The importance of a harmonized exchange data format

cars on windy road

Working together to do great things

At HERE Technologies, we believe that collaboration among carmakers, transport providers and road transit authorities makes for the best mobility services.

Through collaboration, we can scale big ideas to impact more lives around the world. This is why we are driven to build a location platform that facilitates connection across the mobility ecosystem.

Why yet another data standard?

One challenge that has confronted the automotive industry is how to transport the vast sensor data generated by cars into useful information and how to transport it.

The data generated from sensors onboard modern vehicles can be used to warn other cars on the road about traffic flows or possible dangers. The faster that can happen, the more efficient and safer our roads will become.

Yet the industry faced a hurdle – there wasn’t a single data specification that automotive companies could use to fulfill the use cases of the data suppliers and the data consumers. This made sharing data problematic.

Everything changed in 2015. HERE published the first schema SDII under creative commons and kicked off discussions across the industry to help develop a flexible data format that would define a consistent interpretation for data gathered and sent by all vehicles on the road.

The ultimate goal? To allow vehicles to transport a snapshot of the environment to help map and service providers to understand near real-time conditions for reducing accidents, increasing journey comfort and better mobility. Such a data standard is also critical in moving the industry toward cars that can fully understand their environment and drive themselves.

The birth of SENSORIS

In mid-2016, following successful workshops with international automotive and mapping companies in Europe, the U.S. and Asia, a new collaboration body for the creation of a data exchange format – dubbed SENSORIS – was born.

HERE has now submitted SENSORIS to ERTICO – ITS Europe, Europe’s Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) organization combining public and private sector interests in ITS. ERTICO has agreed to continue to coordinate SENSORIS and evolve it into a standardized interface specification to be used broadly across the automotive industry.

With HERE providing the chairman of the steering board, to date, 35 leading companies in the automotive industry have already joined SENSORIS.

June 2018, the first SENSORIS version 1.0.0 was released. Version 1.1.0  is in review and will contain the message capabilities to enable campaign management – a dynamic request strategy to reduce transported sensor data to the required minimum, increasing the value of data and reducing costs.

Introducing the first services leaning to the SENSORIS standard

In September 2016, HERE unveiled the first real-time data services for the automotive industry built on the SDII data format that SENSORIS is based on.

Powered by the HERE Open Location Platform, these services are the first of their kind to harness real-time vehicle sensor data to create a live depiction of the road. HERE Road Signs, HERE Hazard Warnings, HERE Parking, and HERE Real-Time Traffic are changing the automotive industry to support the introduction of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and, later, autonomous driving solutions.