Mapping company Here will let drivers use maps from competing automakers

Automakers working together for the common good is a welcome, albeit rare, sight.

Andrew Krok Reviews Editor / Cars
Cars are Andrew's jam, as is strawberry. After spending years as a regular ol' car fanatic, he started working his way through the echelons of the automotive industry, starting out as social-media director of a small European-focused garage outside of Chicago. From there, he moved to the editorial side, penning several written features in Total 911 Magazine before becoming a full-time auto writer, first for a local Chicago outlet and then for CNET Cars.
Andrew Krok

Traditionally, automakers chart individual paths to certain goals. Instead of working together, they duke it out in the spirit of capitalism so that one company can claim top honors. Occasionally, competition falls by the wayside for the greater good, and that's happening with automakers and the mapping company Here.

Here, which is owned by Germany's triumvirate of Daimler, BMW and Volkswagen, will roll out new services that combine each company's mapping efforts to give drivers a look at live road conditions, Reuters reports. Here will compile data from all three automakers to create a much clearer image of the road ahead, including accidents, construction and parking availability.

When the system goes live, hundreds of thousands of vehicles will begin sending visual data to Here, which the company will use to compile its live traffic data. The data can come from windshield wipers, cameras, brakes and other vehicle systems, and Here will convert all that information into dashboard alerts.

The three automakers purchased Here from Nokia in 2015, to the tune of about $3 billion. Later on, additional automakers will join in on the fun, too, and that will only serve to better flesh out Here's mapping.

As the inexorable march toward completely connected cars continues, drivers will want more than static maps. As autonomous vehicles appear on roads, having correct, up-to-the-minute information will become more important. Here looks ready to supply a 21st century auto industry with 21st century technology.