HERE, a Nokia company, today announced that it is expanding its real-time traffic service to 50 countries, from the current 44. For more.
Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.nasdaq.com
I don’t know whether its because Nokia has HERE for sale or whether I just haven’t been paying attention but there are a few things in their latest story that caught my eye.
The most interesting to me is one that they are putting some emphasis on car parking. This is an area that research tells me is of major interest to motorists. As I outlined in a presentation to he NZ Parking Conference, car parking is a very important part of the journey. http://www.slideshare.net/BluesBro/nz-parking
Parking is not the destination, but it needs to be convenient to the destination. If you are driving to a concert, a show, anything that has a critical time attached to it, increases the importance of the location, but even more so, whether car-parks are available at all. The last thing you want is to get stuck in traffic and then find that the big car park building outside your destination is full and you have to find another one.
In fact a research report I read recently (I can’t remember the name, but if you can, please share it with me and our readers) suggested that a large percentage of urban traffic is people driving around (slowly) looking for a suitable car park. Of course like real time traffic information RTTI itself, car park availability is fluid, which is why there are now many car-parking information services both as apps, Changeable Message Signs and systems inside the car parks, showing if there are available car parks and where they are. As you will see in the Slideshare presentation above, there is also now more focus on being able to find EV electric vehicle charging car parks as well.
It will be interesting to see where HERE goes next because obviously the ownership determines the board, which determines the direction of the product and there are a number of huge players, new and old in the travel information and car navigation, multi-modal routing, location Point of Interest and service related industries. The fact that this story originates in the NASDAQ and is building up the value profile is interesting. I’ve postulated in other blogs as to the future of Nokia. Obviously they don’t see it being in navigation and travel information.