Audi AG along with the BMW Group and Daimler AG have jointly announced that they would be acquiring Nokia Corporation’s HERE mapping and location services. The three partners are set to enjoy an equal share in HERE maps with none of them opting to buy a majority stake in the business.
An independent company will be setup that will make available HERE technology along with its products and services in an open platform which will be catering to consumers from across the market sectors including the automotive sector.
The deal is still awaiting the green signal from various anti-trust authorities with it expected to be formally inked in the first quarter of 2016. HERE aims to offer the next generation of location based services along with new assistance systems for the automotive sector, finally culminating in the development of a fully autonomous driving programme.
All manufacturers can use HERE digital maps along with real time monitoring data to increase road safety and hazard awareness, sharing raw data among vehicles while offering the consumers a brand specific experience, said the statement.
‘Swarm intelligence’ which is calculations based on data of different vehicles like ABS activations and outside temperature could help predict icy roads. Upcoming traffic jams could also be predicted more accurately in the future using this technology.
Speaking on the occasion Harald Krüger, chairman of the board of management of BMW AG 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.”
Rupert Stadler, chairman of the board of management, Audi AG stated “Our environment is constantly changing. That’s why the information in digital maps has to be continually updated so that maximum utility can be offered.”
“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,” Dieter Zetsche, chairman of the board of management of Daimler AG went on to add.
HERE will continue to provide mapping and location services in 200 countries with more than 50 languages being made available. The management team of HERE will remain independent to the consortium, with the focus being to offer products to consumers across segments.