Google Maps looks basic next to this incredible in-car sat nav system

HERE and Unity have created a concept for a next-gen in-car navigation system and it looks amazing

HERE / Unity sat nav concept
(Image credit: HERE / Unity)

Free mapping apps such as Google Maps and Waze have become hugely popular with drivers as they take away the need to pay for map updates for in-dash sat savs and the maps are kept up to date over-the-air. The downside is that instead of that lovely big in-dash screen, you're now squinting at a mobile phone in a car phone holder and hoping that your phone doesn't fall out of the holder on a tight corner.

Now, traditional sat nav companies are planning a comeback and they have the free map apps in their sights. Last week we learned that TomTom has developed TomTom Navigation for Automotive, a new system which offers cloud-based updates and offline mode.

Now HERE, the Netherlands-based company which supplies the maps for Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Daimler and others has teamed up with Unity, the wildly successful video game engine that powers titles such as Pokemon Go and League of Legends, to show off its new in-car mapping concept.

The video, spotted by Auto Evolution, shows a car dash which is one huge touch screen. The city maps are 3D and Unity's engine enables them to be rendered in real time. 

"Created on Unity’s platform and featuring HERE 3D city data, it showcases a futuristic, wide-screen navigation experience of a 3D map of San Francisco and demonstrates what can be achieved with the addition of game-changing HMI [human machine interface] workflow design improvements. To date, HERE has mapped in 3D more than 70 major cities in the US, Europe and Asia with plans to eventually offer global 3D map coverage," HERE says.

Take a look at the video below, which also shows how individual items on the dash – such as the speedo – can also be customised.

"Car buyers now care more about interactivity with their vehicle than horsepower or fuel-efficiency," said Julien Faure, Vice President, Verticals at Unity.

"Unity’s robust 3D rendering engine makes HERE 3D city data, route guidance and navigation look impressive, providing a rich and immersive in-dash experience to the driver," added Jorgen Behrens, Chief Product Officer, HERE Technologies.

Need a new sat nav in the meantime? We think the TomTom GO Premium is best sat nav right now and the best prices for the TomTom GO Premium are below.

Paul Douglas
Global Digital Editorial Strategy Director, Future

Paul Douglas is Global Digital Editorial Strategy Director at Future and has worked in publishing for over 25 years. He worked in print for over 10 years on various computing titles including .net magazine and the Official Windows Magazine before moving to in 2008, eventually becoming Global Editor-in-Chief for the brand, overseeing teams in the US, UK and Australia. Following that, Paul has been Global Editor-in-Chief of BikeRadar and T3 (not at the same time) and later Content Director working on T3, TechRadar and Tom's Guide. In 2021, Paul also worked on the launches of and PetsRadar.