Data handling standard specification published by HERE


It has published an interface specification that defines how sensor data gathered by vehicles on the road can be transferred seamlessly to the Cloud.

The aim of this step is to support the automotive industry in accelerating the deployment of technologies that improve road safety and ease traffic congestion.

According to a recent forecast from automotive technology research firm SBD, by 2020 there will be some 33M vehicles sold annually with built-in connectivity, generating more than 163M terabytes of data each year via their dozens of on-board cameras and sensor technologies.

When shared across the road network, this data can be used by vehicles to give them an awareness of road condition beyond the reach of their sensors and enable the driver or the vehicle itself to better plan driving manoeuvers.

But to achieve this goal, the data shared should be intelligible to other vehicles and, therefore, it should pass through the Cloud in a standard format.

HERE, which is developing location Cloud technology for automated vehicles, has published a sensor data ingestion interface specification for the automotive industry to use. It wants this to become a standardised way for vehicles to send to the Cloud the rich variety of data gathered by their on-board sensors.

Using this standard, the data generated would be analogous regardless of vehicle manufacturer and could be pooled, processed and analysed quickly to create a detailed live view of road and traffic conditions.

HERE is already discussing the interface specification with certain leading automakers and intends to invite other industry peers to discuss the specification this summer. More information about the interface specification can be accessed on the Automotive section of the HERE website.  

Dietmar Rabel, who heads product management for the automated driving program at HERE, said: “Your car generates a wealth of data about road and traffic conditions which will be very helpful to other cars driving behind you. By uniting around a single data specification, we can improve our collective abilities to gain a better overall understanding from the data collected. It will mean fewer accidents and less time spent in traffic. It also moves the industry closer to the goal of cars that can drive themselves.”

The data generated from sensors on board modern vehicles can be used to warn others of possible dangers, including icy roads or a spill, sudden braking or traffic build up, an accident, or an animal or object on the road. Data can also be used to verify and enhance map data and attributes, provide warnings of poor road infrastructure like potholes as well as construction. With Cloud technology this data can also be utilized for new dynamic and personalised services.

The HERE location platform claims to apply data fusion and crowdsourcing for deriving useful information from a huge volume of vehicle sensor data. The platform promises to ensure robust data to enable a car to effectively ‘see around the corner’ and avoid an accident. Achieving the highest possible confidence level requires continuous near real-time processing of large streams of very diverse data which are then fused with map, traffic, incident, weather and other data. 

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