Hyundai And HERE Technologies Partner On Real-Time Traffic Updates For Drivers

Over a year after Hyundai began partnering with navigation technology software provider HERE Technologies, the two are developing their own version of crowdsourced real-time traffic sharing.

Think of it as a “Waze for Hyundai drivers,” though HERE Technologies will rely on sensor data primarily as opposed to the manual social sharing that Wazers do to inform fellow drivers of on-the-road conditions.

The additional features comes as Connected Car competition among software providers develop new alliances to distinguish and enhance their services. For example, last week, Waze struck a partnership with insurance company Allstate to launch in-app roadside assistance to its app users, whether or not they are customers of Allstate.

Separately, General Motors has been expanding its pioneering Connected Car offerings with its 21-year-old OnStar/AtYourService program, by adding voice-activated extensions from drivers’ Connected Home devices, including Amazon Echo’s Alexa and the Google Assistant, among others.

To put the Connected Car into perspective, Gartner has estimated that, by the year 2020, there will be 250 million connected cars. At that point, Connected Cars are expected to make up 75 percent of total car shipments worldwide in 2020, compared with just 13 percent in 2015, Gartner research said last year.

“Our use of both proprietary and partner technologies like HERE Real-Time Traffic is vital to giving our customers the experience of Better,” said Mike O’Brien, VP, corporate and product planning, Hyundai Motor America. “Its inclusion in Hyundai models exhibits a multi-faceted approach to improving customer experience.”

HERE maps will be available for free within all 2018 Hyundai models, including the Kona, GT, Tucson, Ioniq, Elantra, and Sonata. Those models, which come with a navigation head unit (aka the “deck” in a car’s dashboard that also contains the stereo system controls) will be able to receive the fresh map data that is “essential for navigating congested roadways, construction zones, efficient routes. and travel times,” HERE says.

“Real-time traffic information and fresh map data are essential tools for navigating today’s roadways,” said Alex Gordy, director of product management for traffic at HERE Technologies. “We look forward to providing Hyundai drivers this valuable information as the company continues to deliver innovative technology across all vehicle models.”

Additionally, Hyundai customers who purchase the 2018 North American models are eligible to receive free map updates. Customers can choose to receive their map update via an online download, by mail or by visiting their local Hyundai dealer.

The map updates are provided by Hyundai’s Multimedia and Navigation Update Program. The Hyundai Program is powered by HERE Technologies’ MapCare program, which to date 32 vehicle brands have joined and more than 20 million vehicles have been sold with this benefit.