Cars are complex – with more than 30,000 parts in a single-vehicle. Automakers often use a variety of suppliers when they’re building their infotainment systems to provide a unique driving experience. This includes music, turn-by-turn directions, points of interest, traffic and parking information, and the map.

Suppliers take different approaches. Some take an all-or-nothing approach, other suppliers, like INRIX, offer automakers a choice – pick components that you want (even from different suppliers) and it’ll all work together. For traffic and parking information, these connected services must work with maps from different suppliers. This approach is known as map agnostic.

What is Map Agnostic

When a car’s navigation system is map agnostic, routing, connected services, and POIs can come from either one or multiple suppliers, and everything works seamlessly. So what is a map agnostic navigation system? A navigation system that integrates seamlessly with other suppliers. The goal of being map agnostic is to be cross-compatible and unbounded by any particular platform so that they can work across multiple operation devices. This is largely beneficial to automakers.

Why Map Agnostic Car Navigation Systems are beneficial

A map agnostic car navigation system gives automakers the opportunity to build systems out of various components to help regionalize vehicles, take greater control of the infotainment system, and provide a unique driving experience that suits their brand. INRIX products have always been and will continue to be, map agnostic. Our suite of premier location intelligence solutions is cross-compatible and works seamlessly with others.

What is OpenStreetMap

Traditional maps, on the other hand, tend to be more expensive and restrictive. The idea behind OpenStreetMap (OSM) was to use a Wikipedia-like model to create a free, editable map of the world made entirely by voluntary efforts. OpenStreetMap (OSM) emphasizes local knowledge and empowers people across the globe to edit and update the map. OpenStreetMap, OSM for short, is a free and editable map of the whole world built by volunteers and released with an open content license.

What makes OpenStreetMap special?

The OSM community is what makes it special. Millions of volunteers from all around the globe are updating the map as their world changes around them. By leveraging the power of user-generated content around the world, OSM can quickly adapt to the ever-changing road network and deliver high-quality connected services to customers at a lower cost. Every update is immediately visible to all other users. OEMs and suppliers choose how fresh they want the OpenStreetMap data, even up to the minute if desired.

The community is also what ensures the high quality and granularity of OSM maps. Although traditional mapmakers spend a lot of time and resources on keeping maps up to date, their data quality is not necessarily better than OSM. In many less-developed areas, the OSM community has managed more data granularity than other map sources. Since OSM is free to use, it also allows the community to add attributes for specific use cases like protected bike lanes, park benches, fire hydrants, or hiking trails.

Map Agnostic Solutions Automakers can rely on

OpenStreetMap is not perfect—no map is. Ultimately, automakers choose which components to use. For INRIX, building flexible map agnostic products is just as important as powerful and innovative solutions.

Get in touch with INRIX today to see how our map agnostic solutions can help automakers. Book a free demo and learn why our mobility intelligence applications make it easy to explore, visualize, and analyze location-based data for enhancing decision-making.