US: Here is preparing to roll out the next generation of route guidance that can help drivers save fuel and avoid accidents. The maps provide data about a road's precise slope to the vehicle's onboard computer, which sets the cruise control system and adjusts the throttle accordingly. The technology is another step toward hands-free driving. Here is adapting its smart, or 3D, maps for light vehicles. "We've made these maps for years. Now, cars can take much more data. You'll see these maps in light vehicles in the next few years. This is imminent,” said Ogi Redzic, Here's vice president of connected driving.
Navigation maps for light vehicles already use 3D illustrations to represent buildings and other landmarks. But Here's next-generation 3D maps are designed for vehicles' predictive cruise control, a system that adjusts the engine and transmission for optimum fuel economy based on the road ahead. With access to map data about the road's grade and elevation as well as stoplights, speed limits and other factors, the onboard computer could shift gears and speed to operate the car more efficiently and safely. Here estimates that it provides 85 percent of the maps used in vehicles worldwide. Like rival Google, the company sends fleets of vehicles equipped with lidar, or laser radar sensors, to record the twists and turns of every street in North America. "Here has developed the ability to calculate each road's curvature and grade. As lidar gets better, our maps get more granular," added Redzic.