The team behind the product formerly known as "Nokia Here" has separated itself from Microsoft and branded its auto in-car software as "Here Now," Engadget reported today.
Because in-car navigation is such an evolving field, it's worth keeping an eye on.
Here Now debuted this week at the Paris Auto Show with the intent of competing with Apple's CarPlay and Android Auto. Engadget's Steve Dent took it for a test drive in the company's Range Rover demo car. Some highlights:
- Upon entering your destination, the system identifies a number of possible routes on-screen. On each route, it shows you in red how far you can get with your current amount of gas.
- From there, a sidebar appears, showing you gas stations in the area (and even the price of fuel), so you can plan ahead.
- The system also works with your tablet or smartphone, so you (or a passenger) can "change destinations or add pit stops on the fly," Dent wrote.
- Once you start driving, the system "brings up street level imagery to let you picture the destination before you arrive."
- The system can pull up handy tourism information from Lonely Planet and Trip Advisor, as well as local sources, if available.
Despite a few tablet syncing glitches, the whole demo was incredibly smooth.Steve Dent, Engadget
- "Once you near your endpoint, the system kicks into approach mode," Dent wrote. "It brings up the street level view again, and also brings up a mode called 'one-touch parking nearby.' It then lets you send an SMS or email with one touch to inform your party that you've arrived. Meanwhile, the companion app located on your tablet has kept up with the program, and can walk you back to your car if you forget where you parked it."
- "Despite a few tablet syncing glitches, the whole demo was incredibly smooth," Dent concluded.
I'm not sure I'd be in the market for such an immersive navigation interface, but I of course haven't tried Here Now yet. Because this is such an evolving field, with new development happening all the time, it's worth keeping an eye on.