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German-Brand Cars Trio to Communicate Via Data Sharing Network

Just recently, German car giants Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz have entered into a deal to supply Here, a connected car expert firm that they jointly own, with real-time sensor data collected by their cars to enable systems to understand their surroundings better.

In a statement, Alex Mangan, Here’s product marketing manager for connected driving, said that they are demonstrating for the first time how drivers could take the value of rich sensor data coming from a vehicle and use it to do things that positively influence safety and efficiency. He explained that the cars require sensor data, and with this kind of agreement for instance, a Toyota vehicle could have an understanding of what the JLR could see down the road, if everyone is involved.

Mangan is confident that with the three of the largest automakers on board, others are more likely to follow. He noted that up until now, there had been a fairly slow progress.

The marketing manager continued that it is an interesting time for them because every OEM knowns that in order to do the things they like to do, they have to share data. However, in terms of the actual implementation, they think they still have to differentiate, so their data is not immediately comparable.

He said that this is where the challenge for Here lies, noting that the data originating from a BMW 3 Series extremely varies from a BMW 5 Series, and then it’s more different from a Mercedes and Audi.

“Normalizing data sets is therefore a massive challenge. We have to do a lot of processing in The Cloud, and then make sense of that so that the systems can say there’s an actual hazard at this place at this time,” he added.

If more car brands join the deal, the growth in available data would generate a global cloud of information that, once normalized, would act as an Internet of Things for the automotive sector.

Mangan concluded that their ambition is to help the make the world a safer, more efficient, and more technologically relevant to people.

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