LG Electronics announced a partnership today with HERE Technologies to create a new platform for self-driving cars' navigation systems and onboard sensors. The two companies plan to offer a "next-generation telematics solution for autonomous vehicles," combining the considerable digital mapping and navigation expertise of HERE with LG's communications technologies.

We are all familiar with LG, the South Korean manufacturer of all manner of electronics from smartphones and televisions to washing machines and air conditioners. But today's announcement does not, alas, mean that LG is now adding autonomous vehicles to its lineup. Instead, it's about what information those vehicles can gather, process, and use.

HERE Technologies was part of Nokia until 2015, and its impressive pedigree goes all the way back to Navteq, an early leader in digital mapping. HERE is now owned by a consortium made up of three German auto manufacturers, Audi, BMW, and Mercedes. While HERE is not a household name like Google Maps, its technologies are in wide use across the industry, with its mapping data used not only in automotive systems, but also by Facebook, Microsoft's Bing, and Amazon.

Among HERE's mapping and navigation technologies is HD Live Map, which is designed to read street signs and detect objects and obstacles on the road in real time. LG says HD Live Map will be a key part of what the two companies develop together, claiming that they will be able to rapidly scan the environment around a vehicle and send that data to the cloud for analysis and transmission back to the ground for driving information customized to each vehicle using the system.

Despite the fact that HERE is owned by three auto manufacturers, there has been no announcement as to whether any specific companies plan to deploy the LG-HERE platform for their vehicles.

And I'm not gonna lie, I'm a little crestfallen that we won't be getting an LG car. One can only imagine a car that perhaps resembles the Nexus 5: fast, clean-running, and with terrible gas mileage. Or maybe something like a G Flex, where the car is steeply curved...for no...reason.

And what would LG name their hypothetical car? Why, the Lucky Goldstar, of course.

Press Release


Partnership to Implement Next-Generation Telematics Strategy in Self-Driving Era

SEOUL, Dec. 27, 2017 — LG Electronics (LG) is partnering with HERE Technologies (HERE), a global provider of digital mapping and location services, to offer a next-generation telematics solution for autonomous vehicles. The solution combines LG’s advanced telematics technology with high-precision map data and location services powered by the HERE Open Location Platform. Through their planned collaboration, the companies aim to support automakers globally with a robust and secure data communications hub for highly automated and fully autonomous cars.

Telematics is an industry that is defined as the integration of telecommunications and informatics to provide vehicle safety and entertainment services such as navigation, location confirmation and emergency dispatch through various communication technologies, from GPS and DMB (Digital Multimedia Broadcasting) networks to Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and mobile communication. LG, the leader in the global telematics market since 2013, is committed to introducing next-generation solutions that offer high-precision map information to meet the needs of the quickly expanding autonomous vehicle industry.

HERE is the world’s leading provider of map data and location services to the automotive industry, powering more than 100 million cars on the road today. The company is also working with automakers on the development of HD Live Map, its highly-accurate cloud-based map service which supports connected ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems) and automated driving solutions. HD Live Map, which LG intends to deploy in the joint solution it offers automakers, identifies all roads and surrounding features such as lane markings, stop signs, crosswalks, speed signs and traffic lights. The importance of the HERE’s intellectual property and potential was highlighted in 2015 when a consortium of global automotive companies – Audi, BMW and Daimler – acquired the company. Since then HERE has also attracted investors from the broader technology industry.

When fully developed, telematics will play a key role as the communication hub for autonomous vehicles. First, sensors in the vehicle’s ADAS – comprised of cameras, radar and lidar – read the surrounding environment and send the data to the cloud along with information on nearby vehicles collected via V2X (Vehicle-to-Everything). All the information gathered is repeatedly analyzed and transmitted to the telematics systems of vehicles for customized driving information.

LG’s telematics solutions support various communication technologies from GPS to Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and mobile communication. LG engineers are working earnestly to develop 5G products, which will be four to five times faster than LTE with 90 percent reduction in latency, ideal for next generation autonomous vehicle operation.

“We’re excited to present a new standard for autonomous mobile communication solutions in cooperation with HERE, which has unsurpassed cutting-edge automotive guidance technology,” said Lee Woo-jong, president of LG’s Vehicle Components Company. “With partners like HERE, LG can continue to advance the next generation of connected car technologies to help prepare automakers for the self-driving era.”

“To operate safely and efficiently, autonomous vehicles will need many kinds of robust data sources and powerful communication technologies,” said Moon Lee, vice president of HERE Technologies APAC. “We believe our Open Location Platform-powered services can play a critical role in next-generation telematics technology for autonomous vehicles, and we’re excited to be working with LG to make this a reality.”