New mapping tech from Here could be enough to take on Google Maps

Announced at CES 2023 in Las Vegas, the new tech promises “unmatched” levels of map quality

Here Technologies
(Image credit: Here Technologies)

Here has announced what could be a major breakthrough in digital mapping technology. The company claims its new tech, announced at CES 2023 this week, will deliver “unmatched levels of map freshness, quality and coverage.”

The company also said how its new UniMap system rapidly improves how quickly maps can be updated. Processes that could previously take months are now possible in “hours, minutes or even seconds,” Here says, adding that changes spotted in the real world can appear on its maps within 24 hours.

This means real-world changes, like new street signs and road layouts, appearing in navigation apps using Here mapping far more quickly than what’s currently possible.

Built on a new computing architecture, Here’s UniMap technology uses artificial intelligence to automate the processing of 500 million kilometres (310m miles) of vehicle probe and sensor data every hour. This process automatically extracts map features like 3D positioning of road signs to validate speed limits, the company says.

Here also said how the new system can create mapping content from a range of sources, including vehicle camera, lidar sensors, overhead imagery and data from Internet of Things (IoT) devices.

In what it claims to be an industry first, Here is bundling data into a unified mapping product it describes as a “semantically consistent digital representation of reality”. This includes data used for navigation, but also automated driving applications.

Here Technologies boss Edzard Overbeek said: “With UniMap, the world is moving into a new era of mapmaking. We look forward to extending the benefits of UniMap to all our customers in automated transportation, smart logistics, urban mobility and beyond.”

Alistair Charlton

Alistair is a freelance automotive and technology journalist. He has bylines on esteemed sites such as the BBC, Forbes, TechRadar, and of best of all, T3, where he covers topics ranging from classic cars and men's lifestyle, to smart home technology, phones, electric cars, autonomy, Swiss watches, and much more besides. He is an experienced journalist, writing news, features, interviews and product reviews. If that didn't make him busy enough, he is also the co-host of the AutoChat podcast.