#PlaceConf: Connected Cars – The Road Ahead

The world is currently busy upgrading its cellular infrastructures to 5G – and it’s going to be life changing. Especially when we’re talking about positioning, the ability to determine the location of an object in space. If you’re immediately thinking about the GPS from your phone or car, you have to know that it has its limits.

Depending on the device and environment, GPS can be inaccurate anywhere from 50 to 100 meters. But by leveraging 5G cellular networks, we will soon be measuring a device’s location within meters, and even centimeters. This is going to enable a disruption – the good kind – in how we use our devices to navigate, and how we put location intelligence to work for us.

To illustrate this more clearly, think of arriving at a mall. The address of your destination is 1535 Great Mall Avenue. But, that’s a POI. That address does not get you where you’re going. Is that address the front door? The loading dock? The back of a department store? Micro-point addresses translate into the ability to navigate at a far more granular level. Not just at the front door, but at a specific aisle within a store inside. Not just the loading dock, but a specific loading dock.

This availability of location intelligence will break ground for new services, and we expect consumers and users will adapt to these technologies quickly. Human brains (the highly Adaptive Intelligents, or AIs) quickly adapt to new media and experience formats. Just look at your teenagers, your kids, and see how fast they grasp new Augmented Reality interfaces, voice-controlled TV remote controls.

This can be easily observed in automotive. We already expect our cars to tell us where traffic is. Advanced positioning is going to drive up the expectation not just to know where the traffic is, but what is the traffic specifically in the lane that I’m in? What are the road hazards and speed limit changes that I’m approaching? Where is there on-street parking at my destination? Very soon too, you’ll be engaging in a dialog with your car, and your car will reply.

We believe that the connected car is the next media experience platform.

HERE has already built the foundation that enables a connected ecosystem on the roadways. We do this by making sense of location data, the condition of static and dynamic points in the world. The static data is the world geometry of the mall, the airport, or your local sports venue. The dynamic data comes from the mobile devices in our pockets, it comes from the mobile devices we sit in (our cars), and soon it will come from mobile devices that fly by (drones). We call it the HERE Reality Index: our real-time digital representation of the world.

We received a very important question from the audience during our presentation, one that I feel deserves attention.

Q: Great presentation, however what are the ethical consideration, doesn’t it all sound scary? All this technology, AI, and business intelligence is super exciting, but also super scary.

This is a perfectly normal concern; in my view GDPR is a chance for publishers to reestablish trust with their consumers and establish a value exchange. A publisher may get your location information, but only after you understand why, only after you understand the value that you will receive, and how that publisher is protecting your information. This will be the core exchange in the future – it will be the same for auto manufacturers and the connected car.

This is also an opportunity to refer to the HERE privacy study. Mapping and navigation is the number one reason people gave for sharing their location: 80% are willing to share information for the use cases of mapping and navigation. By providing transparency, there is a true chance to improve the trust and relationship.

We believe in an autonomous world for everyone, and the things we build will help bring that to reality. With these services, we strive to enable a world that radically improves the way everyone and everything lives, moves, and interacts.

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