Audi, BMW and Daimler agreed with Nokia the joint acquisition of the HERE mapping service for the price of €2.8 billion ($3.1 million).
The three German companies will hold an equal share in HERE maps with none of them seeking to acquire a majority interest. The cloud-based mapping service will pave the way for new assistance systems and ultimately will lead to fully autonomous driving.
This deal underlines the German’s industry will to stand their ground against Google and Apple who are becoming strong players on the infotainment and autonomous-driving fronts. HERE maps provides mapping and other location services for nearly 200 countries, and will continue to do so as ‘a strong and independent provider’.
“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,” said Rupert Stadler, CEO of Audi.
“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,” said Harald Krüger, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW.
“High-precision digital maps are a crucial component of the mobility of the future. 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,” stated Dieter Zetsche, Daimler boss.
HERE is supplying maps for nearly 80 per cent of the in-dash navigation systems in North America and Europe, rivaling Google and TomTom among others. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2016.