Finnish company Nokia has more than just Windows Phone smartphones up its sleeve and has confirmed that its Here division will collaborate with Mercedes-Benz on developing self-driving cars.
The announcement comes ahead of the IAA International Motor Show in Frankfurt, Germany, where the Here Connected Driving system will be demonstrated.
Mapping and navigation through Nokia’s Here maps has won praise from users and its location data (covering road networks and traffic patterns, among other things) has been licensed by the likes of Garmin, BMW and Amazon.com.
The partnership with Mercedes starts with building a 3D digital map of the route from Mannheim to Pforzheim, Germany – the very route the first Benz Patent-Motorwagen took 125 years ago. This detailed map will document precise road data, such as the number and direction of lanes, traffic signs on the route and the exact co-ordinates of traffic lights. This level of detail will ensure a well-informed – and, thus, safer – self-driving car.
Nokia has taken on this project in order to get in ahead of the game. While self-driving cars may not become a commercial reality for several more years, the earlier work begins on the infrastructure and technology required for them to operate the better.
Nokia also announced deals with Continental Corporation and Magneti Marelli. The former has implemented 3D content from Here into its new dashboard infotainment platform, while Magneti Marelli is working with Here to develop an end-to-end connected driving solution that’s ready for use by car manufacturers.