Nokia Looks at Automotive Terrain with ‘Here Auto’ In-dash Software

September 3, 2013, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

Looks like Nokia wants to play a more active role in the automobile terrain too. Last Friday, the Finnish company announced its new in-dash software for vehicles and has called it Here Auto.

This may be seen as Nokia’s first step at becoming a major technological force in the automobile arena.

If you are wondering what Here Auto is all about, it is an embedded infotainment and connected car system that will gradually add autonomous driving to its profile.

GigaOM HERE

In future, this system is expected to help vehicles to be integrated to the smart city networks.  With its broader connected car vision, Nokia is most likely aiming at having a presence in the automotive scenario that is crowded with top auto manufacturers.

Clearly, the advent of Here Auto will be Nokia’s initial steps towards linking Internet entertainment and the navigation system.

Although a variety of automakers like Ford and General Motors have developed or are looking to develop their own in-dash car systems, Nokia’s car system is expected to stand out in the crowd with its vast amount of smartphone applications and a greater hold in the cloud.

Floris van de Klashorst, Here Auto’s vice president in charge of connected cars, has been quoted as saying that Nokia’s in-dash car system is an attempt at replicating a vehicle’s dashboard to almost the same experience you get from a smartphone or tablet.

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People are more attached to their vehicles and smartphones, and despite this, users can’t take the advantage of their embedded car systems. Nokia is looking to change this scenario altogether.

Here Auto comes with Nokia’s mapping and navigation elements and includes all key features of its current Windows Phone 8 app ranging from 3D maps to real-time traffic, street-level imaging, points of interest and many others.

Unlike other in-dash car systems, in Here Auto you get the same apps you have access on a smartphone or a PC.

Therefore, it will include all your bookmarked destinations, contacts, preferences and preferred routes and destinations.

Moreover, when you map out a route on your phone or PC, you will get the same route in your car when it is connected to the Internet. In case your vehicle loses Internet connectivity, the most recent used route maps and settings will be saved in the car’s memory.

Here Auto is not just a navigation system or an operating system. It is an application abstraction layer, so that it can be built over any embedded OS used by the automaker. This also means that Here Auto will work with any car system. Also, the system allows independent app developers to create their own app directly into Here Auto.

Currently, Nokia is in discussions with top automakers, to convince them to add Here Auto in their vehicles’ dashboards.

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