How we use the HERE SDK to Power Arrival’s in-vehicle Human-to-Machine Interface Navigation

By Valentin Anisimov | 18 June 2021

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At Arrival, we're creating electric vehicles using our game-changing technologies. Using a revolutionary new method of design and production, we build electric vehicles that elevate the everyday, empower local communities and unlock true sustainability. 

For fleet management, we need to provide predictable routes and enable overnight charging. To do this, we're using HERE SDK in our Arrival Van to power in-vehicle Human-to-Machine Interface (HMI) navigation.

We use the HERE SDK’s standard mapping, routing and search functionalities. Beyond that, our application leverages real-time geo visibility and offline capabilities that include route calculation, location search and turn-by-turn navigation.

Developing the Arrival HMI Navigation System

We need a system that works without internet connection, offers excellent search, includes addresses for charging stations and can be embedded in navigation for the vehicle. After benchmarking a range of location data providers, we chose HERE because of its performance. We’re are using embedded HERE SDK services like HERE Map Rendering, Routing, Geocoding and Search and Traffic for our application.

Arrival will provide end-to-end solutions for our customers, building an ecosystem which includes a fleet management solution, supported by the HERE platform. HERE Routing automatically optimizes routes based on fleet manager input. Navigation is then synchronized in vehicles, so drivers have the same view.

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The HERE solution provides great routing logic with the chance to track it in 2D and 3D maps. On top of this, we’ve added HERE traffic tracking, which enables decisions in real-time. While the intent is to minimize manual route manipulation by drivers, we still allow for this in case of delays. Unpredictable events can happen along the way on any given day, so drivers should be able to reroute as needed.

One challenge with electric vehicles, of course, is the need to incorporate accurate charging locations and manage the time until the next charge. Delivery, rideshare and transport routes must be planned with maximum efficiency. Fossil fuel stations are plentiful, but charging stations are not quite as prolific. Without charging location information, drivers would have to deviate and waste time trying to find the right spot. Through the HERE SDK, HERE EV Charge Points data provides a full list of existing stations and continues to integrate more locations as they arise.

HERE Features and Functionality

One of our most difficult tasks, and where the HERE SDK has been highly beneficial, was in the compiling of the map. It needs to change based on the entire design concept of each vehicle. For example, a blue themed vehicle needs map colors that align with the style of the vehicle.

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The HERE SDK allowed us to establish multiple screens depending on the vehicle and whether the display is 2D or 3D. We needed to extend the number of layers displayed on the different screens and synchronize images from there. This used to be a time-consuming aspect of development that the HERE SDK helped us overcome and decrease the time to deployment.  

Another interesting integration is enabled by the embedded engine for rerouting. To change a route, the user typically has to cancel the current route for the system to recalculate and start over. With the HERE SDK, it’s possible to perform these operations in the background, which will ultimately make for a better user experience.

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With the HERE SDK, we also see very good integration between voice actions available on the air. The voice engine we are using is proprietary, but we found good cooperation between HERE with the most important players in the voice recognition market. Integration between navigation and voice recognition was a fast part of our development process because of this.

Equipping EVs for an Autonomous Future

Looking ahead to autonomous driving, we will include more details about the road itself to predict the best possible science. For example, we’ll add road sign information from the HERE engine to our autonomous driving engine for a smoother driving experience.