Nokia has announced the sale of its HERE maps business to a group of leading German automotive businesses, which includes Audi, BMW and Daimler. HERE sold for a price of $2.8 billion, resulting in a heavy loss on the $8.1 billion that Nokia paid when it bought the mapping business from Navteq back in 2008.
HERE maps will likely be used by the German car companies to expand on map and navigation services and accelerate the development of self-driving cars. Although Google may be grabbing most of the headlines, German car manufacturers have all been working on self-driving technologies at various levels, and HERE is likely to form the basis of new assistance systems which are key to fully autonomous vehicles.
Nokia’s real time mapping technology is also clearly quite useful for companies looking to implement improved on-demand services, such as traffic monitoring, and travel commerce analytics, which might result in companies and customers reducing their dependency on Google’s services.
“All carmakers are working toward providing amazing, new connected services, and only by collaborating and sharing data can we reach the critical mass to make real-time map updates a reality,” – HERE’s Pino Bonetti
Importantly for HERE’s existing customers, the Android mobile app will continue to run as normal. The technology used on over 80 percent of sat-nav systems in Europe and America that depend on HERE will also continue to operate independently from the new owners and the group will not be interfering with its operations.
The deal is expected to be finalized in the first half of 2016.