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Nokia in the driving seat

apps Updated: Sep 03, 2013 11:53 IST

The Finnish phone maker and mapping company has unveiled its first products aimed at embedding Nokia technology in consumers' cars.

The Nokia HERE Auto dashboard navigation system offers both indoor and outdoor mapping and works both online and offline meaning that a driver could download and cache a turn-by-turn route before setting off and safely arrive at his or her destination without mobile internet access.

And while that's a great feature, when the internet is accessible things step up a gear in terms of performance and services. Nokia calls it a complete location experience but what that actually means is that the system contains tools to help choose a destination that are accessible in the car, at home or via a smartphone and that once underway HERE offers information on local fuel prices and automatically redirects based on live traffic news.

Once at or near the intended destination users can access street-level images, parking information and indoor maps too. Best of all Nokia is not confining the system and supporting app to its own Lumia handsets. It intends to offer the system to Android users too. Now all the company has to do is find a car company that is willing to offer the system on an upcoming model. But that is just the start: Nokia has made no secret of its desire to enter both the connected and automated car sectors and this is a concerted first step.

The iOS version of Nokia Maps. Photo: AFP/Karen Bleier