Finnish telecom solutions provider Nokia has decided to sell its Here mapping business and among the interested bidders – and rumored winners – are the German luxury triumvirate that banded together in an automotive consortium.
Mapping software is becoming a crucial playing field when it comes to the upcoming emerging sector of autonomous vehicles. And it also plays a pivotal role in recent technologies that have already reached the dashboard of out new vehicles – from connected navigation that can find practically anything we need to e-horizon features that can anticipate the fuel consumption by scanning the road ahead. The increasing dependence was highlighted by the bidding war that surrounded Here – Nokia first played the unit towards technology giants such as Apple, Google and Uber. Naturally, the auto industry became immediately concerned and geared up to fend off the firms, as they look ready to become their future competitors after being involved with driverless cars.
The most recent reports have put the automotive consortium as the winning party, with BMW AG, Audi AG and Mercedes-Benz owner Daimler AG securing it for $2.71 billion. And according to the latest rumors and executive comments, the German automaker plan to “run the service as an open platform for everyone,” inviting rivals such as Ford, Fiat Chrysler, General Motors, Toyota, Renault and PSA Peugeot Citroën to invest in Here. Sharing on such a massive scale a key technology might seem running against the hyper-competitive current of the auto world, but as more cars provide information the better the map becomes and the traditional automakers can fend off threatening disruptions coming from Apple or Google, for example.