AUDI, BMW AND Mercedes-Benz have agreed to supply Here, a connected technology company they jointly own, with real-time sensor data collected by their cars to enable the use of advanced online services. The deal marks the first time a trio of leading brands has agreed to share data and it could spell the beginning of a fully connected car industry. “We’re showing for the first time how you can take the value of rich sensor data coming from a vehicle and use it to do things that positively impact safety and efficiency,” said Alex Mangan, Here’s product marketing manager for connected driving.
“To make the most of connected systems, we all as an industry need each other. The cars need sensor data, and with this kind of agreement a Toyota vehicle, for example, can have an understanding of what the Jaguar Land Rover car saw down the road.” Mangan believes that with three of the world’s biggest car makers on board, others are more likely to follow. He said progress had been slow until now. “Every car maker knows that in order to do the things they want to do, they need to share data.” he said. “But when it comes to the actual implementation, they think they still need to differentiate, so their data isn’t immediately comparable.” Mangan said this is where the challenge for Here lies. “The data coming from a BMW 3 Series is very different from a BMW 5 Series, and then it’s even more different from an Audi and Mercedes. “Normalising data sets is therefore a massive challenge. We have to do a lot of processing in the cloud.”