Note: This is going to be a technical post. I’ll try my best to explain what I want to say simply with some analogies so that everyone can understand.
As most of you already know, Currently, the 450x Dashboard uses Google Maps API.
For those who don’t know what an API is, in layman terms, you can say it’s a service which does whatever you say it to do.
Suppose you’re hungry and want food. You have two options
Cook whatever you want to eat
Order whatever you want to eat (if it’s available)
Now apply similar analogy for options Ather had for their Navigation System.
The first point doesn’t make sense for them because Ather doesn’t have any data to build its own navigation tech. (No raw items in the kitchen so can’t cook)
Using API is similar to the second point. Ather wants navigation data (Food) so it orders it using Google Maps API (Restaurant)
Unlike the Google Maps Application which we use in our phones, the API is not free.
Why it’s paid? (No one will cook food and give it for free, right?)
So, Ather Pays some amount to Google for each API request sent to their servers so they want us to pay for the connect plans. Makes sense, right?.
If you’re with me till here and you’re reading and understanding everything you might have noticed I mentioned (If it’s available) in the second option.
Yes, Google Maps API doesn’t provide every data which you see in their app. (It’s up to the restaurant to choose which food items they’ll deliver at home and which they’ll offer only when you Dine in!)
That’s why you see a limited amount of navigation features on your Ather Dashboard instead of all the features which you use on the Google Maps App on your Phone.
But here, I see an opportunity of an “Advanced Navigation Mode” in which Ather can make use of the Android Dashboard and use Google Maps App instead of API.
In addition to the current model, what I can think of is an advanced mode button on the current navigation dashboard which passes the start and stop destination latitude and longitude to the Google Maps App which is technically known as Intent in Android.
Have you ever noticed how your cab driver can open your drop location which you entered on your phone in the Cab’s App using Google Maps?
Basically what happens is whatever drop location you enter, latitude and longitude are extracted from it and this data is passed as arguments to the Google Maps and it renders the destination for him.
I’m asking for a similar kind of implementation on Ather’s Dashboard.
This kind of implementation will not only be an easy addition but it will also prove easy in maintaining and won’t cost anything(except Data charges).
It can add some features like
Real-Time Traffic Updates
Offline Maps Downloading
Voice Navigation (Would prove helpful when paired with Smart Helmets)
And much more…
Now the most obvious question will be
Can Ather 450x’s Hardware (Qualcomm Snapdragon 212 Chipset) running Android 8.1 can handle Google Maps?
I’ll say, Yes, it can handle it.
Don’t think that Snapdragon 212 is underpowered. It is capable of running a low-end Android Mobile!.
In fact, it has powered Nokia 2 in past which was running Android 7.0!
These points are from my aspect about the hardware they pack and the software they’re using. To all the geeks here of forums, If you feel I’m wrong somewhere, feel free to correct me and drop your views
Also, if you feel any hurdle is there which I missed then please mention that too