Navigation

The HERE SDK enables you to build a comprehensive turn-by-turn navigation experience. With this feature, your app can check the current device location against a calculated route and get navigational instructions just-in-time.

Note

Navigation is supported for all available transport modes - except for public transit. Public transit routes may lead to unsafe and unexpected results when being used for navigation.

The transport mode can vary across the Route, for example, if you walk through a park to reach a sightseeing spot, you may need to leave a car. After the route is calculated, the transport mode is attached to each Section of a Route object.

For car, truck, taxi, bus and scooter routes, the location of the device will be map-matched to streets, while for other modes, such as pedestrian routes, locations may be matched to unpaved dirt roads and other paths that would not be accessible to drivers. Bicycle routes can make use of all available paths.

Even without having a route to follow, the HERE SDK supports a tracking mode, which provides information about the current street, the map-matched location and other supporting details such as speed limits.

Note that the HERE SDK provides no UI assets for maneuver arrows to indicate visual feedback. Instead, all information that is available along a route is given as simple data types, allowing you to choose your own assets where applicable.

Note

Reusable assets for use in your own applications can be found in the MSDKUI open source project from HERE - available on GitHub under this link.

A tailored navigation map view can be optionally rendered with the VisualNavigator. Once startRendering() is called, it will add a preconfigured MapMarker3D instance in form of an arrow to indicate the current direction - and incoming location updates are smoothly interpolated. In addition, the map orientation is changed to the best suitable default values.

The preconfigured MapMarker3D instance can also be customized by setting your own model - or it can be disabled. Internally, the VisualNavigator uses a LocationIndicator instance and thus you can set also a custom LocationIndicator to the VisualNavigator. When this is done, you also need to manually add, remove and update the instance. Similar, as when you already use a LocationIndicator instance on the map view, see the related map items section.

By default, the style of the LocationIndicator will be determined from the transport mode that can be set for the VisualNavigator. If a route is set, then it is taken from the route instance instead. If a custom asset is used, then the style must be switched directly via the LocationIndicator class.

Note

The NavigationCustom example app shows how to switch to a custom LocationIndicator and to a different type when navigation has stopped. It also shows how the navigation perspective can be customized.

Voice guidance is provided as maneuver notifications that can be fed as a String into any platform TTS (Text-To-Speech) solution.

Note

Offline guidance is supported. Turn-by-turn navigation and tracking fully works offline on already cached or downloaded offline map data - as long as the route does not reach regions without cached or preloaded map data.

Turn-By-Turn Navigation

The basic principle of turn-by-turn navigation is to frequently receive a location including speed and bearing values. These values are then matched to a street and compared to the desired route. A maneuver instruction is given to let you orient where you are and where you want to go next.

When leaving the route, you can be notified of the deviation in meters. This notification can help you to decide whether or not to calculate a new route. And finally, a location simulator allows you to test route navigation during the development phase.

Note: Important

Application developers using turn-by-turn navigation are required to thoroughly test their applications in all expected usage scenarios to ensure safe and correct behavior. Application developers are responsible for warning app users of obligations including but not limited to:

  • Do not follow instructions that may lead to an unsafe or illegal situation.
  • Obey all local laws.
  • Be aware that using a mobile phone or some of its features while driving may be prohibited.
  • Always keep hands free to operate the vehicle while driving.
  • Make road safety the first priority while driving.

All code snippets from the below sections are also available on GitHub as part of the Navigation example app. This app shows the code in connection and provides a testable driving experience and best practices such as keeping the screen alive during guidance. However, it does, not cover every aspect of a full-blown production-ready application. For example, the app does not show how to enable getting location updates while an app may operate in background.

If you are interested in getting background location updates, you can check the related section in the Get Locations guide.

In addition, you can also find a NavigationQuickStart app on GitHub that shows how to start guidance with just a few lines of code. See also the next section.

Get Started

Before we look into the navigation features of the HERE SDK in greater detail, lets first see a short coding example that shows how to start guidance with speakable maneuver instructions and a guidance view:

_startGuidance(HERE.Route route) {
  try {
    // Without a route set, this starts tracking mode.
    _visualNavigator = HERE.VisualNavigator();
  } on InstantiationException {
    throw Exception("Initialization of VisualNavigator failed.");
  }

  // This enables a navigation view including a rendered navigation arrow.
  _visualNavigator!.startRendering(_hereMapController!);

  // Hook in one of the many listeners. Here we set up a listener to get instructions on the maneuvers to take while driving.
  // For more details, please check the "navigation_app" example and the Developer's Guide.
  _visualNavigator!.maneuverNotificationListener = HERE.ManeuverNotificationListener((String maneuverText) {
    print("ManeuverNotifications: $maneuverText");
  });

  // Set a route to follow. This leaves tracking mode.
  _visualNavigator!.route = route;

  // VisualNavigator acts as LocationListener to receive location updates directly from a location provider.
  // Any progress along the route is a result of getting a new location fed into the VisualNavigator.
  _setupLocationSource(_visualNavigator!, route);
}

_setupLocationSource(HERE.LocationListener locationListener, HERE.Route route) {
  try {
    // Provides fake GPS signals based on the route geometry.
    _locationSimulator = HERE.LocationSimulator.withRoute(route, HERE.LocationSimulatorOptions.withDefaults());
  } on InstantiationException {
    throw Exception("Initialization of LocationSimulator failed.");
  }

  _locationSimulator!.listener = locationListener;
  _locationSimulator!.start();
}

This code excerpt will start a guidance view and it will print maneuver instructions to the console until you have reached the destination defined in the provided route (for the full code including declarations see the NavigationQuickStart example app.). Note that the maneuver instructions are meant to be spoken to a driver and they may contain strings like "Turn left onto Invalidenstraße in 500 meters.". More detailed maneuver instructions are also available - they are showed in the sections below.

Note that above we are using the simulation feature of the HERE SDK to acquire location updates. Of course, you can also feed real location updates into the VisualNavigator.

The basic principles of any navigation app are:

  1. Create a Route. Without a route to follow you cannot start guidance.
  2. Create a VisualNavigator instance and start rendering (or create a Navigator instance if you want to render the guidance view on your own).
  3. Set a Route to the VisualNavigator.
  4. Fed in location updates into the VisualNavigator. Without location data, no route progress along a route can be detected. This can be simulated like shown above - or you can feed real location updates.

As a quick start, take a look at the NavigationQuickStart example app on GitHub and see how this works in action. If you read on, you can learn more about the many navigation features the HERE SDK has to offer.

Note

When setting a Waypoint you can influence on which side of the road a driver should reach the stop by setting a sideOfStreetHint. If a driver is moving, a bearing value can help to determine the initial direction by setting the headingInDegrees to a Waypoint. This can help to avoid unnecessary u-turns if the next destination lies in the back of a driver. Note that this can also help to optimize routes for pedestrians, for example, to avoid unnecessary street crossings.

Use a Navigator to Listen for Guidance Events

As briefly mentioned above, before you can start to navigate to a destination, you need two things:

  • A Route to follow. The Route must be set to the Navigator or VisualNavigator instance to start navigation.
  • A location source that periodically tells the Navigator or VisualNavigator instance where you are.

Tip: Make sure to to import the following packages to avoid name clashes with the Route / Navigator classes from Flutter:

import 'package:here_sdk/navigation.dart';
import 'package:here_sdk/routing.dart' as HERE;

Unless you have already calculated a route, create one: Getting a Route instance is shown here. If you only want to start the app in tracking mode, you can skip this step.

Note

During turn-by-turn navigation, you will get all Maneuver information from the Navigator or the VisualNavigator instance - synced with your current Location. As long as you navigate, do not take the Manuever data from the Route object directly.

You have two choices to start guidance. Either by using the headless Navigator - or with the help of the VisualNavigator. Both provide the same interfaces, as the Navigator offers a subset of the VisualNavigator, but the VisualNavigator provides visual rendering assistance on top - with features such as smooth interpolation between discrete Location updates.

Another requirement is to provide Location instances - as navigation is not possible without getting frequent updates on the current location. For this you can use a provider implementation that can be found on GitHub to simulate Location events - or follow the implementation from the Get Locations guide to listen to non-simulated Location events. This is also shown as part of the navigation_app example.

It is possible to feed in new locations either by implementing a platform positioning solution or by using the HERE SDK positioning feature or by setting up a location simulator.

The basic information flow is:

Location Provider => Location => (Visual)Navigator => Events

Note that you can set any Location source as "location provider". Only onLocationUpdated() has to be called on the Navigator or VisualNavigator.

It is the responsibility of the developer to feed in valid locations into the VisualNavigator. For each received location, the VisualNavigator will respond with appropriate events that indicate the progress along the route, including maneuvers and a possible deviation from the expected route. The resulting events depend on the accuracy and frequency of the provided location signals.

First off, create a new instance of our reference implementation to acquire locations:

// For easy testing, this location provider simulates location events along a route.
// You can use HERE positioning to feed real locations, see the positioning section
// or the navigation_app for an example.
_locationSimulationProvider = new HEREPositioningSimulator();

Next, we can create a new VisualNavigator instance and set it as listener to the HEREPositioningSimulator from above. Note that the VisualNavigator class conforms to the LocationListener interface that defines the onLocationUpdated() method to receive locations.

try {
  _visualNavigator = VisualNavigator();
} on InstantiationException {
  throw Exception("Initialization of VisualNavigator failed.");
}

// Set the route to follow.
_visualNavigator.route = route;

// Simulates location events based on the given route.
// The navigator is set as listener to receive location updates.
_locationSimulationProvider.startLocating(route, _visualNavigator);

In addition, make sure to set the route you want to follow (unless you plan to be in tracking mode only).

Note

If you do not plan to use the VisualNavigator's rendering capabilities, you can also use the Navigator class instead. This class uses the same code under the hood and behaves exactly like the VisualNavigator, but it offers no support for rendering a specialized navigation view.

As a next step you may want to attach a few listeners to get notified on the route progress, on the current location, the next maneuver to take and on the route deviation:

// Notifies on the progress along the route including maneuver instructions.
// These maneuver instructions can be used to compose a visual representation of the next maneuver actions.
_visualNavigator.routeProgressListener = RouteProgressListener((RouteProgress routeProgress) {
  // Handle results from onRouteProgressUpdated():
  List<SectionProgress> sectionProgressList = routeProgress.sectionProgress;
  // sectionProgressList is guaranteed to be non-empty.
  SectionProgress lastSectionProgress = sectionProgressList.elementAt(sectionProgressList.length - 1);
  print('Distance to destination in meters: ' + lastSectionProgress.remainingDistanceInMeters.toString());
  print('Traffic delay ahead in seconds: ' + lastSectionProgress.trafficDelay.inSeconds.toString());

  // Contains the progress for the next maneuver ahead and the next-next maneuvers, if any.
  List<ManeuverProgress> nextManeuverList = routeProgress.maneuverProgress;

  if (nextManeuverList.isEmpty) {
    print('No next maneuver available.');
    return;
  }
  ManeuverProgress nextManeuverProgress = nextManeuverList.first;

  int nextManeuverIndex = nextManeuverProgress.maneuverIndex;
  Maneuver? nextManeuver = _visualNavigator.getManeuver(nextManeuverIndex);
  if (nextManeuver == null) {
    // Should never happen as we retrieved the next maneuver progress above.
    return;
  }

  ManeuverAction action = nextManeuver.action;
  String roadName = _getRoadName(nextManeuver);
  String logMessage = describeEnum(action) +
      ' on ' +
      roadName +
      ' in ' +
      nextManeuverProgress.remainingDistanceInMeters.toString() +
      ' meters.';

  if (_previousManeuverIndex != nextManeuverIndex) {
    print('New maneuver: $logMessage');
  } else {
    // A maneuver update contains a different distance to reach the next maneuver.
    print('Maneuver update: $logMessage');
  }

  _previousManeuverIndex = nextManeuverIndex;
});

// Notifies on the current map-matched location and other useful information while driving or walking.
// The map-matched location is used to update the map view.
_visualNavigator.navigableLocationListener =
    NavigableLocationListener((NavigableLocation currentNavigableLocation) {
  // Handle results from onNavigableLocationUpdated():
  MapMatchedLocation? mapMatchedLocation = currentNavigableLocation.mapMatchedLocation;
    if (mapMatchedLocation == null) {
    print('This new location could not be map-matched. Are you off-road?');
    return;
  }

  var speed = currentNavigableLocation.originalLocation.speedInMetersPerSecond;
  var accuracy = currentNavigableLocation.originalLocation.speedAccuracyInMetersPerSecond;
  print("Driving speed (m/s): $speed plus/minus an accuracy of: $accuracy");
});

// Notifies on a possible deviation from the route.
// When deviation is too large, an app may decide to recalculate the route from current location to destination.
_visualNavigator.routeDeviationListener = RouteDeviationListener((RouteDeviation routeDeviation) {
  // Handle results from onRouteDeviation().
  HERE.Route? route = _visualNavigator.route;  
  if (route == null) {
    // May happen in rare cases when route was set to null inbetween.
    return;
  }

  // Get current geographic coordinates.
  MapMatchedLocation? currentMapMatchedLocation = routeDeviation.currentLocation.mapMatchedLocation;
  GeoCoordinates currentGeoCoordinates = currentMapMatchedLocation == null
      ? routeDeviation.currentLocation.originalLocation.coordinates
      : currentMapMatchedLocation.coordinates;

  // Get last geographic coordinates on route.
  GeoCoordinates lastGeoCoordinatesOnRoute;
  if (routeDeviation.lastLocationOnRoute != null) {
    MapMatchedLocation? lastMapMatchedLocationOnRoute = routeDeviation.lastLocationOnRoute!.mapMatchedLocation;
    lastGeoCoordinatesOnRoute = lastMapMatchedLocationOnRoute == null
        ? routeDeviation.lastLocationOnRoute!.originalLocation.coordinates
        : lastMapMatchedLocationOnRoute.coordinates;
  } else {
    print('User was never following the route. So, we take the start of the route instead.');
    lastGeoCoordinatesOnRoute = route.sections.first.departurePlace.originalCoordinates!;
  }

  int distanceInMeters = currentGeoCoordinates.distanceTo(lastGeoCoordinatesOnRoute) as int;
  print('RouteDeviation in meters is ' + distanceInMeters.toString());
});

Here we set a RouteProgressListener, a NavigableLocationListener and a RouteDeviationListener.

Inside the RouteProgressListener we can access detailed information on the progress per Section of the passed Route instance. A route may be split into several sections based on the number of waypoints and transport modes. Note that remainingDistanceInMeters and trafficDelay.inSeconds are already accumulated per section. We check the last item of the SectionProgress list to get the overall remaining distance to the destination and the overall estimated traffic delay.

Note that the trafficDelay.inSeconds is based upon the time when the Route data was calculated - therefore, the traffic delay is not refreshed during guidance. The value is only updated along the progressed sections based on the initial data. Use the DynamicRoutingEngine to periodically request optimized routes based on the current traffic situation.

Inside the RouteProgressListener we also can access the next maneuver that lies ahead of us. For this we use the maneuverIndex:

// Contains the progress for the next maneuver ahead and the next-next maneuvers, if any.
List<ManeuverProgress> nextManeuverList = routeProgress.maneuverProgress;

if (nextManeuverList.isEmpty) {
  print('No next maneuver available.');
  return;
}
ManeuverProgress nextManeuverProgress = nextManeuverList.first;

int nextManeuverIndex = nextManeuverProgress.maneuverIndex;
Maneuver? nextManeuver = _visualNavigator.getManeuver(nextManeuverIndex);

The Maneuver information taken from visualNavigator can be used to compose a display for a driver to indicate the next action and other useful information like the distance until this action takes place. It is recommended to not use this for textual representations, unless it is meant for debug purposes as shown in the example above. Use voice guidance instead (see below).

However, it can be useful to display localized street names or numbers (such as highway numbers), that can be retrieved as follows:

String _getRoadName(Maneuver maneuver) {
  RoadTexts currentRoadTexts = maneuver.roadTexts;
  RoadTexts nextRoadTexts = maneuver.nextRoadTexts;

  String? currentRoadName = currentRoadTexts.names.getDefaultValue();
  String? currentRoadNumber = currentRoadTexts.numbers.getDefaultValue();
  String? nextRoadName = nextRoadTexts.names.getDefaultValue();
  String? nextRoadNumber = nextRoadTexts.numbers.getDefaultValue();

  String? roadName = nextRoadName == null ? nextRoadNumber : nextRoadName;

  // On highways, we want to show the highway number instead of a possible road name,
  // while for inner city and urban areas road names are preferred over road numbers.
  if (maneuver.nextRoadType == RoadType.highway) {
    roadName = nextRoadNumber == null ? nextRoadName : nextRoadNumber;
  }

  if (maneuver.action == ManeuverAction.arrive) {
    // We are approaching the destination, so there's no next road.
    roadName = currentRoadName == null ? currentRoadNumber : currentRoadName;
  }

  // Happens only in rare cases, when also the fallback above is null.
  roadName ??= 'unnamed road';

  return roadName;
}

You can get the default road texts directly via currentRoadTexts.names.getDefaultValue(), like shown above. In most cases, this will be the name of the road as shown on the local signs.

Alternatively, you can get localized texts for the road name based on a list of preferred languages via currentRoadTexts.names.getPreferredValueForLocales(locales). If no language is available, the default language is returned.

Note

You can use the RoadTextsListener to get notified on the current RoadTexts you are driving on, e.g. during tracking mode.

As the location provided by the device's GPS sensor may be inaccurate, the VisualNavigator internally calculates a map-matched location that is given to us as part of the NavigableLocation object. For example, a street location is expected to be on a navigable path. But it can also be off-track, in case the user has left the road - or if the GPS signal is too poor to find a map-matched location.

It is recommended to use the map-matched location to give the user visual feedback. For example, to update the current map view based on the map-matched location. Only if the location could not be map-matched, such as, when the user is off-road, it may be useful to fallback to the unmatched originalLocation. Below we choose to use the rendering capabilities of the VisualNavigator to automatically update the map view.

Note

Note that the Maneuver instruction text (nextManeuver.text) is empty during navigation when it is taken from Navigator or VisualNavigator. It only contains localized instructions when taken from a Route instance. The ManeuverAction enum is supposed to be used to show a visual indicator during navigation, and textual instructions fit more into a list to preview maneuvers before starting a trip.

In opposition, nextManeuver.roadTexts, nextManeuver.nextRoadTexts and nextManeuver.exitSignTexts are meant to be shown as part of turn-by-turn maneuvers during navigation, so they are only non-empty when the Maneuver is taken from Navigator or VisualNavigator. If taken from a Route instance, these attributes are always empty.

Some roads, such as highways, do not have a road name. Instead, you can try to retrieve the road number. Keep also in mind, that there may be unnamed roads somewhere in the world.

Below table demonstrates the usage of maneuver properties:

Maneuver Properties
RoutingEngine Navigator / VisualNavigator Examples
maneuver.text Provides a non-empty string. Provides an empty string. Example output for text: "Turn Right on Alexplatz in 100 m".
maneuver.roadTexts Provies empty strings. Provides non-empty strings. Example output for roadTexts.names.getDefaultValue(): "Stadtring".
maneuver.nextRoadTexts Provieds empty strings. Provides non-empty strings. Example output for nextRoadTexts.names.getDefaultValue(): "Halenseestraße".
maneuver.exitSignTexts Provides empty strings. Provides non-empty strings. Example output for exitSignTexts.getDefaultValue(): "Hamburg".

Note

It is not required to trigger the above events yourself. Instead the VisualNavigator will react on the provided locations as coming from the location provider implementation.

If you detect a route deviation, you can decide based on distanceInMeters if you want to reroute users to their destination. Note that for a full route recalculation you may want to use the same route parameters. See next section for more details on how to get back to the route.

In the above example, we calculate the distance based on the coordinates contained in RouteDeviation: distanceInMeters. This indicates the straight-line distance between the expected location on the route and your actual location. If that is considered too far, you can set a newly calculated route to the VisualNavigator instance - and all further events will be based on the new route.

Keep in mind, that in a drive guidance scenario, lastLocationOnRoute and mapMatchedLocation can be null. If routeDeviation.lastLocationOnRoute is null, then the user was never following the route - this can happen when the starting position is farther away from the road network. Usually, the Navigator / VisualNavigator will try to match Location updates to a road: If a driver is too far away, the location cannot be matched.

Note

Note that previous events in the queue may still be delivered at least one time for the old route - as the events are delivered asynchronously. To prevent this, if desired, you can attach new listeners after setting the new route.

The navigation_app example shows how to detect the deviation.

Listen for Road Sign Events

Along a road you can find many shields. While driving you can receive detailed notifications on these shields by setting a RoadSignWarningListener.

The resulting RoadSignWarning event contains information on the shield, including information such as RoadSignType and RoadSignCategory.

By default, the event will be fired with the same distance threshold as for other warners:

  • On highways, the event is fired approximately 2000 meters ahead.
  • On rural roads, the event is fired approximately 1500 meters ahead.
  • In cities, the event is fired approximately 1000 meters ahead.

With RoadSignWarningOptions you can set a filter on which shields you want to get notified.

Some examples of priority road signs.

Note that not all road shields are included. RoadSignType lists all supported types. For example, road signs showing speed limits are excluded, as these shields can be detected with the dedicated SpeedLimitListener.

The below code snippet shows a usage example:

RoadSignWarningOptions roadSignWarningOptions = new RoadSignWarningOptions();
// Set a filter to get only shields relevant for trucks and heavyTrucks.
roadSignWarningOptions.vehicleTypesFilter = [RoadSignVehicleType.trucks, RoadSignVehicleType.heavyTrucks];
_visualNavigator.roadSignWarningOptions = roadSignWarningOptions;

// Notifies on road shields as they appear along the road.
_visualNavigator.roadSignWarningListener = RoadSignWarningListener((RoadSignWarning roadSignWarning) {
  print("Road sign distance (m): ${roadSignWarning.distanceToRoadSignInMeters}");
  print("Road sign type: ${roadSignWarning.type.name}");

  if (roadSignWarning.signValue != null) {
    // Optional text as it is printed on the local road sign.
    print("Road sign text: ${roadSignWarning.signValue!.text}");
  }

  // For more road sign attributes, please check the API Reference.
});

RoadSignWarning events are issued exactly two times:

  • When DistanceType is AHEAD and distanceToRoadSignInMeters is > 0.
  • When DistanceType is PASSED and distanceToRoadSignInMeters is 0.

Handle Route Deviations

As we have seen in the above section, the RouteDeviation event can be used to detect when a driver leaves the original route. Note that this can happen accidentially or intentionally, for example, when a driver decides while driving to take another route to the destination - ignoring the previous made choices for a route alternaive and route options.

As shown above, you can detect the distance from the current location of the driver to the last known location on the route. Based on that distance, an application may decide whether it's time to calculate an entire new route or to guide the user back to the original route to keep the made choices for an route alternative and route options.

Note

Tip: The RouteDeviation event will be fired for each new location update. To avoid unnecessary handling of the event, it may be advisable to wait for a few seconds to check if the driver is still deviating. If the event is no longer fired, it means that the driver is back on the route.

The HERE SDK offers several APIs to handle route deviations:

  1. Recalculate the entire route with the RoutingEngine with new or updated RouteOptions to provide new route alternatives. If you use the current location of the user as new starting point, make sure to also specify a bearing direction for the first Waypoint.
  2. Use the returnToRoute() method to calculate a new route to reach the originally chosen route alternative. It is available for the online RoutingEngine and the OfflineRouteEngine. Note that a route calculated with the OfflineRouteEngine does no longer include traffic information.
  3. Refresh the old route with routingEngine.refreshRoute() using a new starting point that must lie on the original route and optionally update the route options. Requires a RouteHandle to identify the original route.

Note

On top, the HERE SDK offers the DynamicRoutingEngine, that allows to periodically request optimized routes based on the current traffic situation. It requires a route that was calculated online as it requires a RouteHandle.

The 1st and 3rd option are covered in the Routing section. Note that the 3rd option to refresh the original route does not provide the path from a deviated location back to the route. Therefore, it is not covered below. However, an application may choose to use it to substract the travelled portion from the route and let users reach the new starting point on their own.

Note

As of now, the returnToRoute() feature supports the same transport modes as the engine - you can use both, the OfflineRoutingEngine and the RoutingEngine. When executing the method with the RoutingEngine, only public transit routes are not supported - all other available transport modes for the RoutingEngine are supported.

Calculate a route online or offline that returns to the original route with the RoutingEngine or the OfflineRoutingEngine. Use the returnToRoute() method when you want to keep the originally chosen route, but want to help the driver to navigate back to the route as quickly as possible.

Note

The returnToRoute() of the OfflineRoutingEngine method requires cached or already downloaded map data. In most cases, the path back to the original route may be already cached while the driver deviated from the route. However, if the deviation is too large, consider to calculate a new route instead.

The route calculation requires the following parameters:

  • The original Route, which is available from the Navigator / VisualNavigator.
  • For use with the OfflineRoutingEngine, you will also need to set the normalized fraction of the route which was already travelled along the route, which is available from the RouteDeviation event: routeDeviation.fractionTraveled. For the online RoutingEngine this parameter is ignored. The fractionTraveled parameter is based on the last known location of the driver on the route. When the user left the route, no RouteProgress will be delivered. This value is normalized to be a value between 0 (no progress) and 1 (destination reached). The part of the route that was already travelled will be ignored by the route calculation.
  • The new starting Waypoint, which may be the current map matched location of the driver.

The new starting point can be retrieved from the RouteDeviation event:

// Get current geographic coordinates.
MapMatchedLocation currentMapMatchedLocation = routeDeviation.currentLocation.mapMatchedLocation;
GeoCoordinates currentGeoCoordinates = currentMapMatchedLocation == null
    ? routeDeviation.currentLocation.originalLocation.coordinates
    : currentMapMatchedLocation.coordinates;

// If too far away, consider to calculate a new route instead.
Waypoint newStartingPoint = Waypoint(currentGeoCoordinates);

With the online RoutingEngine it can happen that a completely new route is calculated - for example, when the user can reach the destination faster than with the previously chosen route alternative. The OfflineRoutingEngine preferrably reuses the non-travelled portion of the route.

In general, the algorithm will try to find the fastest way back to the original route, but it will also respect the distance to the destination. The new route will try to preserve the shape of the original route if possible.

Stopovers that are not already travelled will not be skipped. For pass-through waypoints, there is no guarantee that the new route will take them into consideration at all.

Optionally, you can improve the route calculation by setting the heading direction of a driver:

if (currentMapMatchedLocation != null && currentMapMatchedLocation.bearingInDegrees != null) {
  newStartingPoint.headingInDegrees = currentMapMatchedLocation.bearingInDegrees;
}

Finally, we can calculate the new route:

routingEngine.returnToRoute(originalRoute, newStartingPoint, routeFractionTravelled, (routingError, routes) {
  if (routingError == null) {
    HERE.Route newRoute = routes.first;
    // ...
  } else {
    // Handle error.
  }
});

Note

Since the CalculateRouteCallback is reused, a list of routes is provided. However, the list will only contain one route. The error handling follows the same logic as for the RoutingEngine.

As a general guideline for the online and offline usage, the returnToRoute() feature will try to reuse the already calculated portion of the originalRoute that lies ahead. Traffic data is only updated and taken into account when used with the online RoutingEngine.

The resulting new route will also use the same OptimizationMode as found in the originalRoute.

However, for best results, it is recommended to use the online RoutingEngine to get traffic-optimized routes.

Dynamically Find Better Routes

Use the DynamicRoutingEngine to periodically request optimized routes based on the current traffic situation. This engine searches for new routes that are faster (based on ETA) than the current route you are driving on.

By setting DynamicRoutingEngineOptions, you can define the minTimeDifference before getting notified on a better route. The minTimeDifference is compared to the remaining ETA of the currently set route. The DynamicRoutingEngineOptions also allow to set a pollInterval to determine how often the engine should search for better routes.

When receiving a better route, the difference to the original route is provided in meters and seconds:

void _startDynamicSearchForBetterRoutes(HERE.Route route) {
  try {
    _dynamicRoutingEngine.start(
        route,
        // Notifies on traffic-optimized routes that are considered better than the current route.
        DynamicRoutingListener((Route newRoute, int etaDifferenceInSeconds, int distanceDifferenceInMeters) {
          print('DynamicRoutingEngine: Calculated a new route.');
          print('DynamicRoutingEngine: etaDifferenceInSeconds: $etaDifferenceInSeconds.');
          print('DynamicRoutingEngine: distanceDifferenceInMeters: $distanceDifferenceInMeters.');

          // An implementation can decide to switch to the new route:
          // _visualNavigator.route = newRoute;
        }, (RoutingError routingError) {
          final error = routingError.toString();
          print('Error while dynamically searching for a better route: $error');
        }));
  } on DynamicRoutingEngineStartException {
    throw Exception("Start of DynamicRoutingEngine failed. Is the RouteHandle missing?");
  }
}

Based on the provided etaDifferenceInSeconds and distanceDifferenceInMeters in comparison to the current route, an application can decide if the newRoute should be used. If so, it can be set to the Navigator or VisualNavigator at any time.

Make sure to update the last map-matched location of the driver and set it to the DynamicRoutingEngine as soon as you get it - for example, as part of the RouteProgress or NavigableLocation update. This is important, so that a better route always starts close to the current location of the driver.

An example implementation for this can be found in the corresponding navigation example app.

Update the Map View using Visual Navigator

You can either react on the location updates yourself or use the VisualNavigator for this.

Typically, during navigation you want to:

  • Follow the current location on the map.
  • Show a location arrow indicating the current direction.
  • Rotate the map towards the current direction.
  • Add other visual assets, for example, maneuver arrows.

Each new location event results in a new NavigableLocation that holds a map-matched location calculated based on the original GPS signal that we have fed into the VisualNavigator. This map-matched location can then be consumed to update the map view.

One caveat, in most cases, getting location updates happens frequently, but nevertheless in discrete steps. This means that between each location may lie a few hundred meters. When updating the camera to the new location, this may cause a little jump.

On the other hand, when using the rendering capabilities of the VisualNavigator, you can benefit from smoothly interpolated movements: Depending on the speed of the driver, the missing coordinates between two location updates are interpolated and the target map location is automatically updated for you.

In addition, the VisualNavigator tilts the map, rotates the map towards the heading direction and shows a 3D location arrow and a LocationIndicator. All of this can be activated with one line of code:

// This enables a navigation view including a rendered navigation arrow.
_visualNavigator.startRendering(_hereMapController);

Screenshot: Turn-by-turn navigation example running on a device.

In addition, you can stop following the current location with:

_visualNavigator.cameraBehavior = null;

And enable it again with:

// Alternatively, use DynamicCameraBehavior to auto-zoom the camera during guidance.
_visualNavigator.cameraBehavior = FixedCameraBehavior();

By default, camera tracking is enabled. And thus, the map is always centered on the current location. This can be temporarily disabled to allow the user to pan away manually and to interact with the map during navigation or tracking. The 3D location arrow will then keep moving, but the map will not move. Once the camera tracking mode is enabled again, the map will jump to the current location and smoothly follow the location updates again.

To stop any ongoing navigation, call _visualNavigator.route = null. Reset the above listeners to null or simply call stop() on your location provider (depends on the actual implementation of your provider). More information can be found in the stop navigation section below.

For the full source code, please check the corresponding navigation example app.

Customize the Navigation Experience

The NavigationCustom example app shows how to switch to a custom LocationIndicator and to a different type when navigation has stopped. It also shows how the navigation perspective can be customized. Find the example apps on GitHub.

  • With the CameraBehavior you can customize how the map view will look like during guidance. It allows to set an auto-zoom behavior with the DynamicCameraBehavior or a static tilt and zoom orientation with the FixedCameraBehavior that can be updated programmatically. It allows also other options like changing the principal point.
  • With ManeuverNotificationOptions you can specify when TTS voice commands should be forwarded.

If you need more customization options for the map view, consider to use the Navigator instead of the VisualNavigator. With the headless Navigator, you get the same features, but no default or customizable render options - instead, you can render the whole map view on your own - for example, if you want to have bigger route lines or any other visual customization, you can use the general rendering capabilities of the HERE SDK.

When using the Navigator, in order to still render a smooth map experience, you have to take care to update the map view's current target location yourself: A location provider will send new location updates only in discrete steps, which will - even when delivered with a high frequency - lead to a "jumping" map view. Therefore, it is recommended to use the InterpolatedLocationListener to get the same smoothened location updates as the VisualNavigator.

Receive Waypoint Events

The VisualNavigator / Navigator classes provide more useful notifications. Below is an example of how to receive notifications on passed waypoints. Note that it is possible to be notified at the destination waypoint in two alternative ways:

  • The first listener below notifies when the destination is reached - and therefore navigation can be stopped.
  • Whereas the second listener shows how to get notified on all types of waypoints including the destination waypoint, but excluding any passThrough waypoints.
// Notifies when the destination of the route is reached.
_visualNavigator.destinationReachedListener = DestinationReachedListener(() {
  // Handle results from onDestinationReached().
  print('Destination reached. Stopping turn-by-turn navigation.');
  stopNavigation();
});

// Notifies when a waypoint on the route is reached or missed
_visualNavigator.milestoneStatusListener = MilestoneStatusListener((Milestone milestone, MilestoneStatus milestoneStatus) {
  // Handle results from onMilestoneStatusUpdated().
  if (milestone.waypointIndex != null && milestoneStatus == MilestoneStatus.reached) {
     print('A user-defined waypoint was reached, index of waypoint: ' + milestone.waypointIndex.toString());
     print('Original coordinates: ' + milestone.originalCoordinates.toString());
  } else if (milestone.waypointIndex != null && milestoneStatus == MilestoneStatus.missed) {
     print('A user-defined waypoint was missed, index of waypoint: ' + milestone.waypointIndex.toString());
     print('Original coordinates: ' + milestone.originalCoordinates.toString());
  } else if (milestone.waypointIndex == null && milestoneStatus == MilestoneStatus.reached) {
     // For example, when transport mode changes due to a ferry a system-defined waypoint may have been added.
     print('A system-defined waypoint was reached at: ' + milestone.mapMatchedCoordinates.toString());
  } else if (milestone.waypointIndex == null && milestoneStatus == MilestoneStatus.reached) {
     // For example, when transport mode changes due to a ferry a system-defined waypoint may have been added.
     print('A system-defined waypoint was missed at: ' + milestone.mapMatchedCoordinates.toString());
  }
});

The onMilestoneStatusUpdated() method provides a Milestone instance that contains the information about the passed or missed waypoints along the route. Note that only stopover waypoints are included. Also, the destination waypoint is included and any other stopover waypoint that was added by a user. In addition, waypoints added by the HERE SDK are included, for example, when there is a need to take a ferry. However, the first waypoint - which is the starting point of your trip - is excluded. Waypoints of type passThrough are also excluded.

A Milestone includes an index that refers to the waypoint list set by the user when calculating the route. If it is not available, then the Milestone refers to a waypoint that was set during the route calculation - for example, when an additional stopover was included by the routing algorithm to indicate that a ferry must be taken.

The MilestoneStatus enum indicates if the corresponding Milestone has been reached or missed.

Receive Speed Limit Events

By implementing the SpeedLimitListener you can receive events on the speed limits that are available along a road. These can be the speed limits as indicated on the local signs, as well as warnings on special speed situations, like for example, speed limits that are only valid for specific weather conditions.

Speed limits that are marked as conditional may be time-dependent. For example, speed limits for school zones can be valid only for a specific time of the day. In this case, the HERE SDK compares the device time with the time range of the speed limit. If the speed limit is currently valid, it will be propagated as event, otherwise not.

Note

The provided speed limits are only valid for cars.

An implementation example can be found in the navigation_app example you can find on GitHub:

// Notifies on the current speed limit valid on the current road.
_visualNavigator.speedLimitListener = SpeedLimitListener((SpeedLimit speedLimit) {
  // Handle results from onSpeedLimitUpdated().
  double? currentSpeedLimit = _getCurrentSpeedLimit(speedLimit);

  if (currentSpeedLimit == null) {
    print("Warning: Speed limits unknown, data could not be retrieved.");
  } else if (currentSpeedLimit == 0) {
    print("No speed limits on this road! Drive as fast as you feel safe ...");
  } else {
    print("Current speed limit (m/s): $currentSpeedLimit");
  }
});

double? _getCurrentSpeedLimit(SpeedLimit speedLimit) {
  // Note that all speedLimit properties can be null if no data is available.

  // The regular speed limit if available. In case of unbounded speed limit, the value is zero.
  print("speedLimitInMetersPerSecond: " + speedLimit.speedLimitInMetersPerSecond.toString());

  // A conditional school zone speed limit as indicated on the local road signs.
  print("schoolZoneSpeedLimitInMetersPerSecond: " + speedLimit.schoolZoneSpeedLimitInMetersPerSecond.toString());

  // A conditional time-dependent speed limit as indicated on the local road signs.
  // It is in effect considering the current local time provided by the device's clock.
  print("timeDependentSpeedLimitInMetersPerSecond: " + speedLimit.timeDependentSpeedLimitInMetersPerSecond.toString());

  // A conditional non-legal speed limit that recommends a lower speed,
  // for example, due to bad road conditions.
  print("advisorySpeedLimitInMetersPerSecond: " + speedLimit.advisorySpeedLimitInMetersPerSecond.toString());

  // A weather-dependent speed limit as indicated on the local road signs.
  // The HERE SDK cannot detect the current weather condition, so a driver must decide
  // based on the situation if this speed limit applies.
  print("fogSpeedLimitInMetersPerSecond: " + speedLimit.fogSpeedLimitInMetersPerSecond.toString());
  print("rainSpeedLimitInMetersPerSecond: " + speedLimit.rainSpeedLimitInMetersPerSecond.toString());
  print("snowSpeedLimitInMetersPerSecond: " + speedLimit.snowSpeedLimitInMetersPerSecond.toString());

  // For convenience, this returns the effective (lowest) speed limit between
  // - speedLimitInMetersPerSecond
  // - schoolZoneSpeedLimitInMetersPerSecond
  // - timeDependentSpeedLimitInMetersPerSecond
  return speedLimit.effectiveSpeedLimitInMetersPerSecond();
}

Note that speed limits depend on the specified transport mode. Currently, the HERE SDK differentiates for cars and trucks based on the legal customer vehicle regulations per country (CVR). That means, the above SpeedLimit event can indicate a lower speed limit for trucks: For example, on a highway, the speed limit will be at most 80 km/h in Germany - while for cars there may be a speed limit indicated that is 130 km/h or higher. Use map version 32 or higher to get CVR speed limits. On lower map versions trucks will receive the same speed limits as cars. Note that the map version can be updated with the MapUpdater - even if there are no downloaded regions - as navigation will only request the map data of the same version that is currently stored into the map cache. Therefore, keep in mind that this applies to both, online and offline ussage.

Info

For trucks, we recommend to also specify the TruckSpecifications inside the RouteOptions. The properties grossWeightInKilograms and weightInKilograms can have an impact on the speed limit for trucks. These values are not only used for route calculation, but are also retrieved internally from the route to decide if the truck's weight is below or above 3.5 t. For most countries this has an impact on the legally allowed speed limit. If no weight is set, only the legally highest allowed speed limits for trucks will be forwarded - as the HERE SDK will then assume the truck's weight is very low.

Receive Speed Warning Events

Although you can detect when you exceed speed limits yourself when you receive a new speed limit event (see above), there is a more convenient solution that can help you implement a speed warning feature for your app.

Note

This does not warn when temporary speed limits such as weather-dependent speed limits are exceeded.

The onSpeedWarningStatusChanged() method will notify as soon as the driver exceeds the current speed limit allowed. It will also notify as soon as the driver is driving slower again after exceeding the speed limit:

// Notifies when the current speed limit is exceeded.
_visualNavigator.speedWarningListener = SpeedWarningListener((SpeedWarningStatus speedWarningStatus) {
  // Handle results from onSpeedWarningStatusChanged().
  if (speedWarningStatus == SpeedWarningStatus.speedLimitExceeded) {            
    // Driver is faster than current speed limit (plus an optional offset, see setupSpeedWarnings()).
    // Play a click sound to indicate this to the driver.
    // As Flutter itself does not provide support for sounds,
    // alternatively use a 3rd party plugin to play an alert sound of your choice.
    // Note that this may not include temporary special speed limits, see SpeedLimitListener.
    SystemSound.play(SystemSoundType.click);
    print('Speed limit exceeded.');
  }

  if (speedWarningStatus == SpeedWarningStatus.speedLimitRestored) {
    print('Driver is again slower than current speed limit (plus an optional offset.)');
  }
});

Note

Note that lambda_onSpeedWarningStatusChanged() does not notify when there is no speed limit data available. This information is only available as part of a NavigableLocation instance.

A SpeedWarningStatus is only delivered once the current speed is exceeded or when it is restored again - for example, when a driver is constantly driving too fast, only one event is fired.

The lambda_onSpeedWarningStatusChanged() notification is dependent on the current road's speed limits and the driver's speed. This means that you can get speed warning events also in tracking mode independent of a route. And, consequently, you can receive a speedLimitRestored event when the route has changed - after driver's speed slows again.

Optionally, you can define an offset that is added to the speed limit value. You will be notified only when you exceed the speed limit, including the offset. Below, we define two offsets, one for lower and one for higher speed limits. The boundary is defined by highSpeedBoundaryInMetersPerSecond:

void setupSpeedWarnings() {
  SpeedLimitOffset speedLimitOffset = SpeedLimitOffset.withDefaults();
  speedLimitOffset.lowSpeedOffsetInMetersPerSecond = 2;
  speedLimitOffset.highSpeedOffsetInMetersPerSecond = 4;
  speedLimitOffset.highSpeedBoundaryInMetersPerSecond = 25;

  _visualNavigator.speedWarningOptions = SpeedWarningOptions(speedLimitOffset);
}

Here we set the highSpeedBoundaryInMetersPerSecond to 25 m/s: If a speed limit sign is showing a value above 25 m/s, the offset used is highSpeedOffsetInMetersPerSecond. If it is below 25 m/s, the offset used is lowSpeedOffsetInMetersPerSecond.

For the example values used above,

  • if the speed limit on the road is 27 m/s, the (high) speed offset used is 4 m/s. This means we will only receive a warning notification when we are driving above 31 m/s = 27 m/s + 4 m/s. The highSpeedOffsetInMetersPerSecond is used, as the current speed limit is greater than highSpeedBoundaryInMetersPerSecond.

  • if the speed limit on the road is 20 m/s, the (low) speed offset used is 2 m/s. This means we will only receive a warning notification when we are driving above 22 m/s = 20 m/s + 2 m/s. The lowSpeedOffsetInMetersPerSecond is used, as the current speed limit is smaller than highSpeedBoundaryInMetersPerSecond.

You can also set negative offset values. This may be useful if you want to make sure you never exceed the speed limit by having a buffer before you reach the limit. Note that you will never get notifications when you drive too slow, for example, slower than a defined offset - unless a previous speed warning has been restored.

Note

Call navigator.trackingTransportProfile(vehicleProfile) and set a VehicleProfile with e.g. truck transport mode if you are a truck driver. By default, car is assumed and you will only receive speed limits that are valid for cars. Make sure to specify other vehicle properties like weight according to your vehicle.

Receive Safety Cameras Events

You can attach a SafetyCameraWarningListener to the Navigator or VisualNavigator to get notfied on SafetyCameraWarning events that inform on cameras that detect the speed of a driver.

For most countries, this includes only permanently installed cameras. The HERE SDK does not inform whether the cameras are currently active - or not.

Getting notifications on safety cameras - also know as "speed cameras" - is not available for all countries, due to the local laws and regulations. Note that for some countries, like in France, precise location information for speed cameras is disallowed by law: Instead, here the notifications can only be given with less accuracy to meet the governmental guidelines. For most countries, however, precise location information is allowed.

As of now, the below listed countries are supported.

Coverage for Safety Cameras

  • United States of America
  • United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Turkey
  • Thailand
  • Taiwan
  • Sweden
  • Spain
  • South Africa
  • Slovenia
  • Slovakia
  • Singapore
  • Serbia
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Russian Federation
  • Romania
  • Qatar
  • Portugal
  • Poland
  • Oman
  • Norway
  • Netherlands
  • Mexico
  • Malaysia
  • Macao
  • Luxembourg
  • Lithuania
  • Latvia
  • Kuwait
  • Kazakhstan
  • Italy
  • Israel
  • Isle of Man
  • Iceland
  • Hungary
  • Hong Kong
  • Greece
  • France
  • Finland
  • Estonia
  • Denmark
  • Czechia
  • Cyprus
  • Croatia
  • Chile
  • Canada
  • Bulgaria
  • Brazil
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Belgium
  • Belarus
  • Bahrain
  • Azerbaijan
  • Austria
  • Argentina
  • Andorra

Get Road Attributes

By implementing the RoadAttributesListener you can receive events on the road attributes. The events are fired whenever an attribute changes - while you are traveling on that road.

// Notifies on the attributes of the current road including usage and physical characteristics.
_visualNavigator.roadAttributesListener = RoadAttributesListener((RoadAttributes roadAttributes) {
  // Handle results from onRoadAttributesUpdated().
  // This is called whenever any road attribute has changed.
  // If all attributes are unchanged, no new event is fired.
  // Note that a road can have more than one attribute at the same time.
  print('Received road attributes update.');

  if (roadAttributes.isBridge) {
    // Identifies a structure that allows a road, railway, or walkway to pass over another road, railway,
    // waterway, or valley serving map display and route guidance functionalities.
    print('Road attributes: This is a bridge.');
  }
  if (roadAttributes.isControlledAccess) {
    // Controlled access roads are roads with limited entrances and exits that allow uninterrupted
    // high-speed traffic flow.
    print('Road attributes: This is a controlled access road.');
  }
  if (roadAttributes.isDirtRoad) {
    // Indicates whether the navigable segment is paved.
    print('Road attributes: This is a dirt road.');
  }
  if (roadAttributes.isDividedRoad) {
    // Indicates if there is a physical structure or painted road marking intended to legally prohibit
    // left turns in right-side driving countries, right turns in left-side driving countries,
    // and U-turns at divided intersections or in the middle of divided segments.
    print('Road attributes: This is a divided road.');
  }
  if (roadAttributes.isNoThrough) {
    // Identifies a no through road.
    print('Road attributes: This is a no through road.');
  }
  if (roadAttributes.isPrivate) {
    // Private identifies roads that are not maintained by an organization responsible for maintenance of
    // public roads.
    print('Road attributes: This is a private road.');
  }
  if (roadAttributes.isRamp) {
    // Range is a ramp: connects roads that do not intersect at grade.
    print('Road attributes: This is a ramp.');
  }
  if (roadAttributes.isRightDrivingSide) {
    // Indicates if vehicles have to drive on the right-hand side of the road or the left-hand side.
    // For example, in New York it is always true and in London always false as the United Kingdom is
    // a left-hand driving country.
    print('Road attributes: isRightDrivingSide = ' + roadAttributes.isRightDrivingSide.toString());
  }
  if (roadAttributes.isRoundabout) {
    // Indicates the presence of a roundabout.
    print('Road attributes: This is a roundabout.');
  }
  if (roadAttributes.isTollway) {
    // Identifies a road for which a fee must be paid to use the road.
    print('Road attributes change: This is a road with toll costs.');
  }
  if (roadAttributes.isTunnel) {
    // Identifies an enclosed (on all sides) passageway through or under an obstruction.
    print('Road attributes: This is a tunnel.');
  }
});

An implementation example can be found in the Navigation example app you can find on GitHub.

The HERE SDK itself is not reacting on such events as roadAttributes.isTunnel. An application may decide to switch to a night map scheme as long as isTunnel is true. Internally, the HERE SDK is using a tunnel interpolation algorithm to provide this detection - as usually the GPS signal is very weak or even lost while being in a tunnel.

Get Lane Assistance

The HERE SDK provides lane recommendations to help a driver to stay on the route. When no Route is set, no lane assistance is provided.

Two independent listeners can be set to obtain the following events before reaching a junction (including intersections and roundabouts):

  • ManeuverViewLaneAssistance: Provides a list of Lane recommendations if the next route maneuver takes place at a junction - regardless if the junction is considered complex or not.
  • JunctionViewLaneAssistance: Provides a list of Lane recommendations only for complex junctions - regardless if a maneuver takes place at the junction or not. This event is not delivered for non-complex junctions.

A complex junction is defined as follows:

  • The junction has at least a bifurcation.
  • The junction has at least two lanes whose directions do not follow the current route.

Both events can be delivered for the same junction or for different ones. A Lane instance contains information such as the available lanes on the current road, their direction category and whether the lane is recommended or not.

Both events are fired 300 meters ahead of a junction for non-highways and 1300 meters ahead of a junction on highways. However, for now the distance to the next complex junction is not exposed as part of the JunctionViewLaneAssistance event. For ManeuverViewLaneAssistance, the distance is available as part of the distance to the next maneuver which is available via the RouteProgress event.

Each lane can lead to multiple directions stored in LaneDirectionCategory:

  • straight: A lane that goes straight up.
  • slightlyLeft: A lane that goes slightly left around 45 degrees.
  • slightlyRight: A lane that goes slightly right around 45 degrees.
  • quiteLeft: A lane that goes quite left around 90 degrees.
  • quiteRight: A lane that goes quite right around 90 degrees.
  • hardLeft: A lane that goes hard left around 135 degrees.
  • hardRight: A lane that goes hard right around 135 degrees.
  • uTurnLeft: A lane that makes a left u-turn around 180 degrees.
  • uTurnRight: A lane that makes a right u-turn around 180 degrees.

Note that all members can be true or false at the same time. Theoretically, all members can be true when the lane leads to all multiple directions. Most lanes, however, lead to one or two directions, for example, quiteLeft and quiteRight will be true when the lane splits up into two separate lanes.

To give visual feedback for the driver, it is recommended to create one transparent image asset for each of the nine possible directions. Each image can then be used as an overlay and several images can be blended into one lane pictogram that indicates the possible directions per lane on a road.

Most importantly, while the vehicle is traveling along the route, you can tell the driver which lane to take: This information is stored in the Lane.recommendationState and it is recommended to highlight the pictogram of the recommended lane.

Illustration: Example of a possible visualization for a road with three lanes where the two leftmost roads lead to the next maneuver.

Note that the lane assistance information does not contain the lanes of the contraflow, instead it only describes the lanes of the current driving direction. The list of lanes is always ordered from the leftmost lane (index 0) to the rightmost lane (last index) of the road.

This way, lane assistance works the same for both, left-hand and righ-hand driving countries.

Note

Check roadAttributes.isRightDrivingSide to know if you are in a left-hand driving country. Maneuver instructions and other notifications automatically adapt to the country. For lane assistance, the code will work the same, regardless of the country, as the list of lanes is always ordered from left - starting with index 0 - to right.

It is recommended to show ManeuverViewLaneAssistance events immediately when the event is received. The event is synchronized with the ManeuverNotificationListener to receive voice guidance events.

Lane information provided by JunctionViewLaneAssistance events is recommended to be shown in a separate UI area indicating that there is an upcoming complex junction that needs attention.

Get Lane Recommendations For Maneuvers at a Junction with ManeuverViewLaneAssistance

The ManeuverViewLaneAssistance event provides the recommended lanes at a junction where a maneuver takes place. On the map this maneuver is visualized by a maneuver arrow when the VisualNavigator is rendering the MapView. The location of the junction can be retrieved from the next Maneuver that is available as part of the RouteProgress event.

Each ManeuverViewLaneAssistance event is synchronized with the corresponding maneuver voice notification as sent by the ManeuverNotificationListener: This means that for most roads, the event arrives simultaneously and at the same frequency as the maneuver voice notification text that describes the next maneuver with the distance to the junction. As described below, this event can be used for a TTS engine to speak the maneuver message to the driver.

Similar to the other events described above, you can attach a ManeuverViewLaneAssistanceListener to the Navigator or VisualNavigator. The resulting ManeuverViewLaneAssistance object contains information about the available lanes on the current road and information such as their directions.

The following code snippet shows how to retrieve the information which lanes to take:

// Notifies which lane(s) lead to the next (next) maneuvers.
_visualNavigator.maneuverViewLaneAssistanceListener =
    ManeuverViewLaneAssistanceListener((ManeuverViewLaneAssistance laneAssistance) {
  // Handle events from onLaneAssistanceUpdated().
  // This lane list is guaranteed to be non-empty.
  List<Lane> lanes = laneAssistance.lanesForNextManeuver;
  logLaneRecommendations(lanes);

  List<Lane> nextLanes = laneAssistance.lanesForNextNextManeuver;
  if (nextLanes.isNotEmpty) {
    print("Attention, the next next maneuver is very close.");
    print("Please take the following lane(s) after the next maneuver: ");
    logLaneRecommendations(nextLanes);
  }
});

...

void logLaneRecommendations(List<Lane> lanes) {
  // The lane at index 0 is the leftmost lane adjacent to the middle of the road.
  // The lane at the last index is the rightmost lane.
  int laneNumber = 0;
  for (Lane lane in lanes) {
    // This state is only possible if laneAssistance.lanesForNextNextManeuver is not empty.
    // For example, when two lanes go left, this lanes leads only to the next maneuver,
    // but not to the maneuver after the next maneuver, while the highly recommended lane also leads
    // to this next next maneuver.
    if (lane.recommendationState == LaneRecommendationState.recommended) {
      print("Lane $laneNumber leads to next maneuver, but not to the next next maneuver.");
    }

    // If laneAssistance.lanesForNextNextManeuver is not empty, this lane leads also to the
    // maneuver after the next maneuver.
    if (lane.recommendationState == LaneRecommendationState.highlyRecommended) {
      print("Lane $laneNumber leads to next maneuver and eventually to the next next maneuver.");
    }

    if (lane.recommendationState == LaneRecommendationState.notRecommended) {
      print("Do not take lane $laneNumber to follow the route.");
    }

    laneNumber++;
  }
}

The laneAssistance.lanesForNextNextManeuver is normally an empty list, but there may be cases when two maneuvers are very close. In such cases, this list holds the information for the lanes to take immediately after the current maneuver is reached.

Until the next maneuver is reached, the information about the lanes to take is valid. It should be hidden once the next maneuver is reached or replaced by the information contained in any new ManeuverViewLaneAssistance event:

// See above code snippet for the RouteProgressListener.
if (_previousManeuverIndex != nextManeuverIndex) {
  // A new maneuver: Remove stale lane assistance info.
}

View the code for the RouteProgressListener above and you can find how to get the nextManeuverIndex, which will tell you when a new maneuver has to be taken.

Get Lane Recommendations For Complex Junctions with JunctionViewLaneAssistance

In addition to ManeuverViewLaneAssistance (see above), the HERE SDK provides JunctionViewLaneAssistance events that notify on the available lanes at complex junctions - even if there is no actual maneuver happening at that junction. These notifications work in parallel to ManeuverViewLaneAssistance, but will only fire before reaching a complex junction (see above).

In comparison to ManeuverViewLaneAssistance, the JunctionViewLaneAssistance event can recommend more lanes to safely pass a complex junction - but not every of those lanes may lead to the next maneuver after passing the junction.

Unlike ManeuverViewLaneAssistance, you can detect when the junction has been passed by checking the list if it is empty or not:

// Notfies which lane(s) lead to the next maneuvers at complex junctions.
_visualNavigator.junctionViewLaneAssistanceListener =
    JunctionViewLaneAssistanceListener((JunctionViewLaneAssistance junctionViewLaneAssistance) {
  List<Lane> lanes = junctionViewLaneAssistance.lanesForNextJunction;
  if (lanes.isEmpty) {
    print("You have passed the complex junction.");
  } else {
    print("Attention, a complex junction is ahead.");
    logLaneRecommendations(lanes);
  }
});

When the complex junction has been passed, it is recommended to update the UI of your app to remove the lane information. JunctionViewLaneAssistance events can be considered as an additional hint which lanes to take at complex junctions - especially, when no maneuver takes places at such junctions, because this information is not provided with the ManeuverViewLaneAssistance event.

Keep in mind, that without a route to follow, you will not get any lane assistance related events.

Truck Guidance

The HERE SDK supports premium truck routing and guidance with a variety of features. For example, during navigation you can attach a listener to get notified on truck restrictions ahead, such as narrow tunnels. Other examples of possible restrictions can be bridges that are not high enough to be passed by a bigger truck or roads where the weight of the truck is beyond the permissible weight of the road.

See the following code snippet:

// Notifies truck drivers on road restrictions ahead.
_visualNavigator.truckRestrictionsWarningListener =
    TruckRestrictionsWarningListener((List<TruckRestrictionWarning> list) {
  // The list is guaranteed to be non-empty.
  for (TruckRestrictionWarning truckRestrictionWarning in list) {
    if (truckRestrictionWarning.distanceType == DistanceType.ahead) {
      print("TruckRestrictionWarning ahead in: ${truckRestrictionWarning.distanceInMeters} meters.");
    } else if (truckRestrictionWarning.distanceType == DistanceType.reached) {
      print("A restriction has been reached.");
    } else if (truckRestrictionWarning.distanceType == DistanceType.passed) {
      // If not preceded by a "reached"-notification, this restriction was valid only for the passed location.
      print("A restriction just passed.");
    }

    // One of the following restrictions applies ahead, if more restrictions apply at the same time,
    // they are part of another TruckRestrictionWarning element contained in the list.
    if (truckRestrictionWarning.weightRestriction != null) {
      WeightRestrictionType type = truckRestrictionWarning.weightRestriction!.type;
      int value = truckRestrictionWarning.weightRestriction!.valueInKilograms;
      print("TruckRestriction for weight (kg): ${type.toString()}: $value");
    } else if (truckRestrictionWarning.dimensionRestriction != null) {
      // Can be either a length, width or height restriction of the truck. For example, a height
      // restriction can apply for a tunnel. Other possible restrictions are delivered in
      // separate TruckRestrictionWarning objects contained in the list, if any.
      DimensionRestrictionType type = truckRestrictionWarning.dimensionRestriction!.type;
      int value = truckRestrictionWarning.dimensionRestriction!.valueInCentimeters;
      print("TruckRestriction for dimension: ${type.toString()}: $value");
    } else {
      print("TruckRestriction: General restriction - no trucks allowed.");
    }
  }
});

The DistanceType.reached notifies when a truck restriction has been reached. The event is followed by passed, when the restriction has been passed. If the restriction has no length, then reached is skipped and only a reached event is sent. Note that the ahead event is always sent first.

If all restrictions are nil, then a general truck restriction applies. The type of the restriction can be also seen from the TruckRestrictionWarningType.

Note

When guidance is stopped by setting a null route or a new route, then any restriction that was announced with an ahead notification, will instantly result in a passed event to clear pending restriction warnings. While following a route - any restriction that lies not on the route is filtered out, but as soon as a driver deviates far enough (more than 15 meters) from a route, then supported restrictions ahead on the current road will lead again to restriction warnings.

The notification thresholds for truck restrictions differ slightly from other warners:

  • In cities, the ahead event is sent 500 m ahead (instead of 1000 m ahead).
  • On rural roads, the event is sent 750 m ahead (instead of 1500 m ahead).
  • On highways, the event is sent 1500 m ahead (instead of 2000 m ahead).

The TruckRestrictionWarning event is based on the map data of the road network ahead. It delivers restrictions regardless of the currently set TransportMode.

Note

When calculating a route, you can specify TruckOptions including TruckSpecifications. This may have an influence on the resulting Route. However, it does not influence the TruckRestrictionWarning event: Most restrictions found in the map data ahead are forwarded. Therefore, it may make sense for an application to filter out restriction warnings that are not relevant for the current vehicle. Note that this event is also delivering events in tracking mode when there is no route to follow.

More details on truck routing are given in the routing section. For example, there you can find how to calculate a route specifically for trucks. In general, if a route contains the Truck transportation type, it is optimized for trucks.

In addition, you can specify several avoidance options, for example, to exclude certain city areas. All this can be specified before the route gets calculated and passed into the Navigator or VisualNavigator.

Worth to mention are also the following features:

  • You can specify vehicle restrictions such as truck dimensions or if a truck is carrying hazardous goods via TruckOptions that can contain TruckSpecifications and HazardousGood lists. With this information you can shape the truck route. To get notified on upcoming truck restrictions, listen to the TruckRestrictionWarning event as shown above.
  • You can listen for certain RoadAttributes as explained above.
  • When transport mode is set to truck, SpeedLimit events will indicate the customer vehicle regulated (CVR) speed limits that may be lower than for cars. For this, call navigator.trackingTransportProfile(vehicleProfile) and set a VehicleProfile with truck transport mode. By default, car is assumed. Make sure to specify other vehicle properties like weight according to your truck.
  • Worth to mention, grossWeightInKilograms and weightInKilograms will effect CVR speed limits, as well as route restrictions and the estimated arrival time. Without setting proper TruckSpecifications, routes and notfifcations may be inapprobiate.
  • You can exclude emission zones to not pollute the air in sensible inner city areas via AvoidanceOptions. With this you can also avoid certain RoadFeatures like tunnels. Those can be set via TruckOptions and are then excluded from route calculation.
  • You can enable a map layer scheme that shows safety camera icons on the map: MapSceneLayers.safetyCameras. Note: This layer is also suitable for cars.
  • You can enable a map layer scheme that is optimized to show truck-specific information on the map: MapScene.Layers.vehicleRestrictions. It offers several MapFeatureModes, for example, to highlight active and inactive restrictions as purple lines on an affected road - a gray line or a gray icon means that the restriction is inactive. If a road is crossing such a purple line - and the road itself is not indicated as purple - then this restriction does not apply on the current road. Note that an icon does not necessarily indicate an exact location: For example, in case of a restricted road an icon may be placed centered on the restricted road - or, if the restriction is longer, the icon may be repeated several times for the same restriction along one or several roads. The icon itself is localized per country and represents the type of restriction. For most restrictions, the location and the type of the restriction is also indicated through the TruckRestrictionWarning event (as shown above).

MapSceneLayers.vehicleRestrictions

Implement a Location Provider

A location provider is necessary to be provide Location instances to the VisualNavigator. It can feed location data from any source. Below we plan to use an implementation that allows to switch between native location data from the device and simulated location data for test drives.

As already mentioned above, the VisualNavigator conforms to the LocationListener interface, so it can be used as listener for classes that call onLocationUpdated().

As a source for location data, we use a HEREPositioningProvider that is based on the code as shown in the Find your Location section.

Note

For navigation it is recommended to use LocationAccuracy.NAVIGATION when starting the LocationEngine as this guarantees the best results during turn-by-turn navigation.

To deliver events, we need to start the herePositioningProvider:

// Call this to start getting locations from a device's sensor.
_herePositioningProvider.startLocating(_visualNavigator, LocationAccuracy.navigation);

The required HERE SDK Location type includes bearing and speed information along with the current geographic coordinates and other information that is consumed by the VisualNavigator. The more accurate and complete the provided data is, the more precise the overall navigation experience will be.

Note that the bearing value taken from the Location object determines the direction of movement which is then indicated by the LocationIndicator asset that rotates into that direction. When the user is not moving, then the last rotation is kept until a new bearing value is set. Depending on the source for the Location data, this value can be more or less accurate.

Internally, the timestamp of a Location is used to evaluate, for example, if the user is driving through a tunnel or if the signal is simply lost.

You can find a reference implementation of a location provider on GitHub. The navigation_app example shows how HERE Positioning can be used for navigation.

Set up a Location Simulator

During development, it may be convenient to playback the expected progress on a route for testing purposes. The LocationSimulator provides a continuous location signal that is taken from the original route coordinates.

Below we integrate the LocationSimulator as an alternative provider to allow switching between real location updates and simulated ones.

import 'package:here_sdk/core.dart' as HERE;
import 'package:here_sdk/core.errors.dart';
import 'package:here_sdk/navigation.dart' as HERE;
import 'package:here_sdk/routing.dart' as HERE;

// A class that provides simulated location updates along a given route.
// The frequency of the provided updates can be set via LocationSimulatorOptions.
class HEREPositioningSimulator {
  HERE.LocationSimulator? _locationSimulator;

  // Provides location updates based on the given route (route playback).
  void startLocating(HERE.Route route, HERE.LocationListener locationListener) {
    _locationSimulator?.stop();

    _locationSimulator = _createLocationSimulator(route, locationListener);
    _locationSimulator!.start();
  }

  void stop() {
    _locationSimulator?.stop();
  }

  // Provides fake GPS signals based on the route geometry.
  HERE.LocationSimulator _createLocationSimulator(HERE.Route route, HERE.LocationListener locationListener) {
    HERE.LocationSimulatorOptions locationSimulatorOptions = HERE.LocationSimulatorOptions.withDefaults();
    locationSimulatorOptions.speedFactor = 2;
    locationSimulatorOptions.notificationInterval = Duration(milliseconds: 500);

    HERE.LocationSimulator locationSimulator;

    try {
      locationSimulator = HERE.LocationSimulator.withRoute(route, locationSimulatorOptions);
    } on InstantiationException {
      throw Exception("Initialization of LocationSimulator failed.");
    }

    locationSimulator.listener = locationListener;

    return locationSimulator;
  }
}

In addition, by setting LocationSimulatorOptions, we can specify, how fast the current simulated location will move. By default, the speed factor is 1.0, which is equal to the average speed a user normally drives or walks along each route segment without taking into account any traffic-related constraints. The default speed may vary based on the road geometry, road condition and other statistical data, but it is never higher than the current speed limit. Values above 1.0 will increase the speed proportionally. If the route contains insufficient coordinates for the specified time interval, additional location events will be interpolated.

Note that we need to ensure to stop any ongoing simulation (or real location source) before starting a new one.

You can see the code from above included in the navigation_app example on GitHub.

Voice Guidance

While driving, the user's attention should stay focused on the route. You can construct visual representations from the provided maneuver data (see above), but you can also get localized textual representations that are meant to be spoken during turn-by-turn guidance. Since these maneuver notifications are provided as a String, it is possible to use them together with any TTS solution.

Note

Maneuver notifications are targeted at drivers. It is not recommended to use them for pedestrian guidance.

Example notifications:

Voice message: After 1 kilometer turn left onto North Blaney Avenue.
Voice message: Now turn left.
Voice message: After 1 kilometer turn right onto Forest Avenue.
Voice message: Now turn right.
Voice message: After 400 meters turn right onto Park Avenue.
Voice message: Now turn right.

To get these notifications, set up a ManeuverNotificationListener:

// Notifies on voice maneuver messages.
_visualNavigator.maneuverNotificationListener = ManeuverNotificationListener((String voiceText) {
  // Handle results lambda_onManeuverNotification().
  // Flutter itself does not provide a text-to-speech engine. Use one of the available TTS plugins to speak
  // the voiceText message.
  print('Voice guidance text: $voiceText');
});

Here we just print the text. You can use a TTS plugin, such as flutter_tts, to translate the voice text to an audible message a driver can hear.

Set a LanguageCode to localize the notification text and a UnitSystem to decide on metric or imperial length units. Make sure to call this before a route is set, otherwise the default settings is (enUs, metric). For more ManeuverNotificationOptions consult the API Reference.

void setupVoiceTextMessages() {
  LanguageCode languageCode = LanguageCode.enGb;
  List<LanguageCode> supportedVoiceSkins = VisualNavigator.getAvailableLanguagesForManeuverNotifications();
  if (supportedVoiceSkins.contains(languageCode)) {
    _visualNavigator.maneuverNotificationOptions = ManeuverNotificationOptions(languageCode, UnitSystem.metric);
  } else {
    print('Warning: Requested voice skin is not supported.');
  }
}

Note that the HERE SDK supports 37 languages. You can query the languages from the VisualNavigator with VisualNavigator.getAvailableLanguagesForManeuverNotifications(). All languages within the HERE SDK are specified as LanguageCode enum.

Note

Each of the supported languages to generate maneuver notifications is stored as a voice skin inside the HERE SDK framework. Unzip the framework and look for the folder voice_assets. You can manually remove assets you are not interested in to decrease the size of the HERE SDK package.

However, in order to feed the maneuver notification into a TTS engine, you also need to ensure that your preferred language is supported by the TTS engine. Usually each device comes with some preinstalled languages, but not all languages may be present initially.

Supported Languages for Voice Guidance

Below you can find a list of all supported voice languages together with the name of the related voice skin that is stored inside the HERE SDK framework:

  • Arabic (Saudi Arabia): ar-SA_tarik_compact
  • Czech: cs-CZ_iveta_compact
  • Danish: da-DK_magnus_compact
  • German: de-DE_anna_compact
  • Greek: el-GR_nikos_compact
  • English (British): en-GB_serena_compact
  • English (United States): en-US_tom_compact
  • Spanish (Spain): es-ES_jorge_compact
  • Spanish (Mexico): es-MX_angelica_compact
  • Farsi (Iran): fa-IR_anonymous_compact
  • Finnish: fi-FI_onni_compact
  • French (Canada): fr-CA_chantal_compact
  • French: fr-FR_audrey_compact
  • Hebrew: he-IL_carmit_compact
  • Hindi: hi-IN_lekha_compact
  • Croatian: hr-HR_anonymous_compact
  • Hungarian: hu-HU_mariska_compact
  • Indonesian: (Bahasa) id-ID_damayanti_compact
  • Italian: it-IT_alice_compact
  • Japanese: ja-JP_sakura_compact
  • Korean: ko-KR_sora_compact
  • Norwegian: (Bokmål) nb-NO_henrik_compact
  • Dutch: nl-NL_claire_compact
  • Portuguese (Brazil): pt-BR_luciana_compact
  • Polish: pt-PT_joana_compact
  • Romanian: ro-RO_ioana_compact
  • Russian: ru-RU_katya_compact
  • Slovak: sk-SK_laura_compact
  • Serbian: sr-CS_anonymous_compact
  • Swedish: sv-SE_alva_compact
  • Thai: th-TH_kanya_compact
  • Turkish: tr-TR_cem_compact
  • Ukrainian: uk-UA_anonymous_compact
  • Vietnamese: vi-VN_anonymous_compact
  • Chinese (Simplified China): zh-CN_tian-tian_compact
  • Chinese (Traditional Hong Kong): zh-HK_sin-ji_compact
  • Chinese (Traditional Taiwan): zh-TW_mei-jia_compact

Open the HERE SDK framework and search for the voice_assets folder. If you want to shrink the size of the framework, you can remove the voice packages you do not need.

Spatial Audio Maneuver Notifications

The same voiceText as provided by the ManeuverNotificationListener (see above) can be also enhanced with spatial audio information.

Spatial audio maneuver notifications allow to adjust the stereo panorama of the text-to-speech strings in real-time. This happens based on the maneuver location in relation to a driver sitting in a vehicle.

For this, use the SpatialManeuverNotificationListener instead (or in parallel) of the ManeuverNotificationListener. It triggers notifications when spatial maneuvers are available. In addition, add a SpatialManeuverAzimuthListener to trigger the azimuth elements which compose one of the spatial audio trajectories defined by the HERE SDK. The resulting SpatialTrajectoryData contains the next azimuth angle to be used and it indicates wether the spatial audio trajectory has finished or not.

Use SpatialManeuverAudioCuePanning to start panning and pass CustomPanningData to update the estimatedAudioCueDuration of the SpatialManeuver and to customize its initialAzimuthInDegrees and sweepAzimuthInDegrees properties.

Stop Navigation

While turn-by-turn navigation automatically starts when a route is set and the LocationPrivider is started, stopping navigation depends on the possible scenario:

Either, you want to stop navigation and switch to tracking mode (see below) to receive map-matched locations while still following a path - or you want to stop navigation without going back to tracking mode. For the first case, you only need to set the current route to null. This will only stop propagating all turn-by-turn navigation related events, but keep the ones alive to receive map-matched location updates and, for example, speed warning information. Note that propagation of turn-by-turn navigation events is automatically stopped when reaching the desired destination. Once you set a route again, all turn-by-turn navigation related events will be propagated again.

If you want to stop navigation without going back to tracking mode - for example, to get only un-map-matched location updates directly from a location provider - it is good practice to stop getting all events from the VisualNavigator. For this you should set all listeners individually to null.

You can reuse your location provider implementation to consume location updates in your app. With HERE positioning you can set multiple LocationListener instances.

When you use the VisualNavigator, call stopRendering(). Once called, the MapView will be no longer under control by the VisualNavigator:

  • Settings, like map orientation, camera distance or tilt, which may have been altered during rendering are no longer updated. They will keep the last state before stopRendering() was called. For example, if the map was tilted during guidance, it will stay tilted. Thus, it is recommended to apply the desired camera settings after stopRendering() is called.
  • The map will no longer move to the current location - even if you continue to feed new locations into the VisualNavigator.
  • The default or custom location indicator owned by the VisualNavigator will be hidden again.
  • Note that all location-based events such as the RouteProgress will be still delivered unless you unsubscribe by setting a null listener - see above.

Note

Since the VisualNavigator operates on a MapView instance, it is recommended to call stopRendering() before destroying a MapView. In addition, it is recommended to stop LocationSimulator and DynamicRoutingEngine in case they were started before.

Tracking

While you can use the VisualNavigator class to start and stop turn-by-turn navigation, it is also possible to switch to a tracking mode that does not require a route to follow. This mode is also often referred to as the driver's assistance mode. It is available for all transport modes - except for public transit. Public transit routes may lead to unsafe and unexpected results when being used for tracking. Although all other transport modes are supported, tracking is most suitable for car and truck transport modes.

To enable tracking, you only need to call:

 _visualNavigator.route = null;
// And make sure to start your location provider, if it is not already running.

Of course, it is possible to initialize the VisualNavigator without setting a route instance - if you are only interested in tracking mode you don't need to set the route explicitly to null.

Note

Note that in tracking mode you only get events for listeners such as the NavigableLocationListener or the SpeedWarningListener that can fire without the need for a route to follow. Other listeners such as the RouteProgressListener do not deliver events when a route is not set.

This enables you to keep your listeners alive and to switch between free tracking and turn-by-turn-navigation on the fly.

Consult the API Reference for an overview to see which listeners work in tracking mode.

Tracking can be useful, when drivers already know the directions to take, but would like to get additional information such as the current street name or any speed limits along the trip.

Prepare a Trip

The HERE SDK provides support for route prefetching of map data. This allows to improve the user experience - for example, during turn-by-turn navigation to handle temporary network losses gracefully.

Note that this is not needed if offline maps are already downloaded for the region where a trip takes place. In this case, all map data is already there, and no network connection is needed. Unlike, for example, the dedicated OfflineRoutingEngine, the Navigator or VisualNavigator will decide automatically when it is necessary to fallback to cached data or offline map data. In general, navigation requires map data, even if it is executed headless without showing a map view. The reason for this is that map data needs to be accessed during navigation for map matching and, for example, to notify on certain road attributes like speed limits. This data is taken from the available data on the device - or in case it is not there, it needs to be downloaded during navigation. Therefore, it can be beneficial to prefetch more data in anticipation of the road ahead. Without prefetching, temporary connection losses can be handled less gracefully.

Note

Note that this is a beta release of this feature, so there could be a few bugs and unexpected behaviors. Related APIs may change for new releases without a deprecation process.

The RoutePrefetcher constructor requires a SDKNativeEngine instance as only parameter. You can get it via SDKNativeEngine.sharedInstance after the HERE SDK has been initialized.

With the RoutePrefetcher you can download map data in advance. The map data will be loaded into the map cache. Note that the map cache has its own size constraints and may already contain data: The RoutePrefetcher may need to evict old cached data in order to store new map data.

  • It is recommended to call once routePrefetcher.prefetchAroundLocation(currentGeoCoordinates) before starting a trip. This call prefetches map data around the provided location with a radius of 2 km into the map cache and it ensures, that there is enough map data available when a user starts to follow the route - assuming that the route starts from the current location of the user.

  • After navigation has started, consider to call once routePrefetcher.prefetchAroundRouteOnIntervals​(navigator): It prefetches map data within a corridor along the route that is currently set to the provided Navigator instance. If no route is set, no data will be prefetched. The route corridor defaults to a length of 10 km and a width of 5 km. Map data is prefetched only in discrete intervals. Prefetching starts 1 km before reaching the end of the current corridor. Prefetching happens based on the current map-matched location - as indicated by the RouteProgress event. The first prefetching will start after travelling a distance of 9 km along the route. If a new route is set to the navigator, it is not necessary to call this method again - however, it has also no negative impact when it is called twice or more times.

If the RoutePrefetcher was successfully used at the start of a route - and then later the connectivity is lost, the cached data will be preserved even across future power cycles until the map cache is evicted. More about the map cache's eviction policy can be found here.

For convenience, you can also call both methods together before starting navigation. However, as a trade-off, keep in mind that prefetchAroundRouteOnIntervals() increases network traffic also for any subsequent guidance on new routes automatically.

Both calls help to optimize temporary offline use cases that rely on cached map data. While the prefetchAroundLocation() can be also used outside of a navigation use case, prefetchAroundRouteOnIntervals() requires an ongoing navigation scenario.

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