HERE’s navigation system is currently integrated into more than 100 million vehicles worldwide, the company says. HERE Navigation On-Demand, the company’s newest platform, employs Alexa as a comprehensive voice interface.
HERE uses Amazon’s new Alexa Auto tools and APIs, which were announced last September, to transform in-vehicle navigation and expand the reach into users’ homes or anywhere users interact with their Alexa account.
With the new device and platform collaboration, for example, users will be able to plan trips or their daily route when they are at home or work or any place in between. When they get in their car, the navigation system will be pre-configured.
In addition to the convenience of anywhere-route planning, the Alexa-powered voice-first user interface means drivers won’t have to make or change settings other than by voice. Drivers will be able to stay focused on the road and other vehicles.
“We’re thrilled to be working with HERE to integrate Alexa with its in-vehicle navigation software,” said Ned Curic, VP of Alexa Auto at Amazon. “Because Alexa is integrated directly into the experience, automakers using HERE Navigation On-Demand can easily provide customers with an intuitive, voice-first experience in the car, and provide richer, more useful voice interactions at home and on the go.”
HERE also brings location information to the collaboration. The HERE location platform includes more than just vehicle position data, but also extensive data about places, routes, traffic, construction, and points of interest. Alexa will draw from HERE’s location-contextual information as needed.
For example, if a user sets up reminders for errands or stops during the next few days, when the time draws near, HERE’s Navigation On-Demand system will use Alexa to remind the user of the errand or stop.
Because HERE’s location platform also accesses real-time traffic data, routing information, and a database of area resources, as the platform develops the user could ask Alexa something like, “Alexa, where can I buy artisanal bread on my way home.”
“The in-vehicle user experience is rapidly changing, and automakers today have the opportunity to deliver the next generation of services that maximize the vehicle’s utility as the ultimate connected device,” said Edzard Overbeek, CEO of HERE Technologies. “Our work with Amazon will drive a truly differentiated and delightful user experience, from the home to the car, to where you want to go, and what you need to know.”