Audi, BMW and Mercedes will be supplying real-time data to HERE for the development of digital maps that will provide drivers with vital road information.

HERE was acquired by a consortium of German car manufacturers, made up of Audi, BMW and Mercedes parent Daimler, in the middle of last year from Nokia. The consortium paid $3.1 billion to acquire the digital mapping business, which was said to be important in the development of self-driving vehicles.

Late last year, HERE said that it was preparing to expand its mapping efforts to support self-driving cars, in addition to improving its consumer maps service to provide an attractive alternative to services such as Google Maps and Apple Maps. This would be made possible through the use of real-time data, which is the subject of the latest report.

The real-time data that will be gathered by the connected vehicles of Audi, BMW and Mercedes will power the services that HERE will be launching. Among the things that drivers will find out from the announced service are traffic conditions of certain roads, any hazards that are present such as inclement weather, changes in speed limits and open parking spaces near a location.

The services that HERE is developing will be made available in the first half of next year. While the vehicles from the German car manufacturers will be the first ones to use their installed cameras and sensors to provide real-time data to the service, HERE said that the service will not be limited to vehicles of these brands.

HERE added that it is aware of the potential issues to privacy that such a system will present. The company said that all the data that the service will receive would be anonymized so that hackers, even if they breach the system, will not know which data is coming from which driver.

Crowdsourcing real-time data from drivers and their vehicles from the three brands will develop the digital maps of HERE faster than acquiring the data from just one automobile manufacturer. If HERE would be able to get more car companies on board, it could have a legitimate chance at challenging Google's Waze.

However, as noted by Engadget, the main limitation of the planned service is a necessary volume of connected cars on the streets. In areas where there would be too few connected cars, the service might not be able to provide detailed information.

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