Nokia sells HERE maps business to Audi, Mercedes-Benz and BMW
In a rare partnership, Audi, Mercedes-Benz and BMW have joined forces to buy Nokia’s maps business, HERE, to distance themselves from Google and Apple and push forward with autonomous vehicles.
IN A MOVE that looks like a clear shot at Google’s growing power in automotive integration of its offerings, Audi, Mercedes-Benz and BMW have joined forces to buy Nokia’s maps business, which is called: HERE. Here is a competitor for both Google Maps and Tom Tom.
The purchase is reported to be worth 2.8 billion euros and will see the three automakers take an equal stake in the business. In a joint statement, they said: “For the automotive industry this is the basis for new assistance systems and ultimately for fully autonomous driving”.
Part of the decision to purchase the decision was to distance customer data from the ‘grips’ of Google and Apple which both offer integration systems for Android and iOS devices to sync with the vehicle.
“With the joint acquisition of HERE, we want to secure the independence of this central service for all vehicle manufacturers, suppliers and customers in other industries,” Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche said in the joint statement.
BMW CEO Harald Krueger said: “HERE will play a key role in the digital revolution of mobility, combining high definition maps and data from vehicles to make travel safer and easier for everyone.”
HERE currently supplies mapping data via its in-dash navigation systems to around 80% of auto makers in Europe and the US. In the joint statement, the new owners of HERE said the business would remain independent and be able to continue supplying maps to any customer wishing to purchase them.
The purchase will be finalised early in 2016.