German carmaker trio grabs Nokia’s map service

July 21, 2015 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
In the bidding contest about Nokia’s digital road maps service HERE, a consortium of three German carmakers seems to have prevailed. According to media reports, Audi, BMW and Daimler have been awarded the contract at a surprisingly low price.

The move highlights the significance of electronic map data services for the development of the automated car: Without highly exact and timely information about road conditions including real-time traffic information and current data about road works etc, cars would not be able to find their way. Earlier today, Bosch has announced a collaboration with navigation system manufacturer and map data provider TomTom of Amsterdam to develop digital maps for autonomous vehicles.

According to media releases in Germany, Nokia sold HERE for €2.5 billion, a surprisingly low price. Earlier estimates were based on a sales price of abut €4 billion. During the bidding process, all other interested parties including Facebook and transport services provider Uber, have withdrawn. The German carmaker trio has been joined by private equity investor General Atlantic who however does not plan to acquire any shares of HERE, at least for the time being. The carmakers plan to utilise HERE data to implement automated driving functions and innovative mobility services, writes German business publication Manager Magazin.

Neither Nokia nor the three carmakers involved in the operation were available to comment.

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