HERE Technologies is using car sensor data, in this case from Munich, Germany, to generate a map of real-time road conditions. Photo: HERE Technologies

Nokia's former map unit, now owned by a consortium of European automakers, is launching a new effort to aggregate sensor data from millions of cars to help create a real-time map of road conditions.

Why it matters: Understanding not just the map of the road, but what is happening on those roads, is key for autonomous vehicles. It also could help HERE stand out from Google and others in the mapping space.

The details: HERE Technologies says its new service will make use of multiple sensors, including hazard lights, fog lights, cameras, emergency brakes and other components to offer other cars a better sense of what is happening on the road.

  • BMW will be the first to include the service, which should show up in cars in North America and Europe beginning in mid-2018.
  • HERE hopes to have tens of millions of cars using the service by the end of 2019.

More: The company has a video showing sensor data it gathered in Munich last month. It uses the sensor information to show road hazards, accidents, stalled vehicles, rain and other incidents.

Separately: BlackBerry announced this morning that China's Baidu will be using its QNX platform as the basis for its Apollo autonomous driving open platform. The two companies will also work together in other areas, including in-car mapping and smartphone synchronization.

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