The auto industry could enter a new development phase after the war for control over Nokia’s Here mapping business unit will be over – setting up to different approaches to the future of the automobile.
The current rumors and echoes for the bid puts on one side the traditional automakers and on the other software and technology companies such as Google and Uber. That could also lead to a future where the auto industry is still dominated by the traditional carmaking giants of the XXth century or the technology behemoths. The turf war is also a classic example of old-school industry clash to control a supply base, as the expensive part of this technology is only provided by a handful o companies. That’s because some of the major automakers already massively use for their dashboard navigation system the mapping services of Here. The Finnish telecommunications company Nokia back in 2007 acquired Navteq and transformed it into Here – one of the leading auto industry map provider for the past 15 years – ahead of archrival TomTom in the United States and Europe.
Having Nokia in the middle of April deliver the announcement it was going to sell the unit was a disrupting wakeup call – setting up the field for a battle that could lead to control at least in part the direction of the car business, mostly thanks to the mapping unit’s critical assets. Accurate maps are not only needed for the mundane navigation systems, but also for the myriad of technology that enables self-driving cars to steer themselves in traffic. It will also be key to the crop of fully autonomous vehicles planned for the upcoming decade.
Via Automotive News