With automakers taking their own routes to developing autonomous driving, one needs to wonder how these self-driving vehicles of the future from various brands can operate together on a larger, more global scale.

HERE, originally an American company that is now co-owned by Audi, BMW, and Daimler, has developed a design for universal data format that will allow for standardized vehicle data exchange making the crowdsourcing paradigm available for self-driving automobiles. Sharing data such as real-time traffic, weather and parking spaces will be much faster and easier.

The design is called SENSORIS and it now has been picked up by ERTICO – ITS Europe, a UK body overseeing the development of globally-adopted standards relating to future automotive and transportation technologies, which has initiated the SENSORIS Innovation Platform to be able to come up with a standardized interface specification can be developed for use across the world and between different automakers in the industry.

Currently, 11 major automotive and supplier companies have already signed up for the SENSORIS Innovation Platform and they are AISIN AW, Robert Bosch, Continental, Daimler, Elektrobit, HARMAN, HERE, LG Electronics, NavInfo, PIONEER and TomTom.

Pooling analogous vehicle data from millions of vehicles around the world will allow for a fully automated driving experience.

Each vehicle will have access to ‘near real-time’ info of road conditions, traffic data and various hazards that will help these self-driving vehicles make better decision on the road.

“Our goal was always to find a home for this specification that is open, accessible to all and global. This is a vital step along the path to creating a shared information network for safer roads. If a car around the next corner hits the brakes because there’s an obstruction, that information could be used to signal to the drivers behind to slow down ahead of time, resulting in smoother, more efficient journeys and a lower risk of accidents. But that can only work if all cars can speak and understand the same language,” said Dietmar Rabel, head of autonomous driving product management at HERE.

“Defining a standardised interface for exchanging information between the in-vehicle sensors and a dedicated cloud as well as between clouds will enable broad access, delivery and processing of vehicle sensor data; enable easy exchange of vehicle sensor data between all players, and finally enable enriched location based services which are key for mobility services as well as for automated driving,” said Hermann Meyer, Chief Executive Officer at ERTICO.