HERE leaves Nokia, plans to build maps for self-driving cars

The sale of Nokia’s mapping business unit, HERE, was no small issue. It was quite the funfair. Uber was in the running for it, so was Facebook, but the business was ultimately sold to an automotive industry consortium that comprises of AUDI AG, BMW Group and Daimler AG. The sale was worth an enterprise value of €2.8 billion (US$3.07-billion). Today, the HERE team is finished packing its bags and whatever else lay on their work stations and is leaving Nokia.

About 6 500 employees of HERE are today shifting gears and officially saying farewell to Nokia. There has not been solid plans outlined by the automotive consortium that now owns HERE, one assumes that they will stick to their word, and that HERE will continue as a separate business even as it continues to be integrated more into their vehicles and products.

The company has said that to create a broader shareholder structure, it is open to other investors and that “it aims to strengthen its market position in automotive and expand its consumer and enterprise businesses through strategic partnerships and acquisitions, as well as organic growth.”

Read more: Nokia sells its Here mapping business to Audi, BMW, and Mercedes for $3 billion

Giving insight into its future plans, HERE revealed that, in its quest to deliver real-time maps, it is exploring possibility of incorporating anonymised data from Audi, BMW and Daimler vehicles. This move, the company has revealed, opens up opportunities to more industry participants in the coming months.

“With its platform further enhanced by data from multiple new sources, HERE would be able to accelerate the development of the next generation map needed for automated driving for the benefit of all automotive customers, as well as to enhance the quality of its maps, products and services for customers in other industries” the company said.

HERE is excited about the move, noting that this is opening new possibilities for it, that of designing not only maps that are used by people but by machines too. The company notes that the goal is to make HERE more precise, close to 1:1 scale, so that it can be used in self-driving cars.

Read more: Nokia agrees to buy Alcatel-Lucent for $16.6bn, puts HERE on sale

“With the backing of new investors, HERE today underscored a long-term commitment to be an open location platform accessible to all customers — within and outside the automotive industry — who seek to leverage the power of location in their businesses. Partners and customers will also be able to leverage HERE’s open platform to create their own services based on their unique needs and business models,” HERE said.

The company is hardly out of the Nokia premises but it is not waiting to settle in at its new home before it makes plans. The company revealed that in the future it will include smarter urban mobility, enabling further evolution of the car, a new era of transportation, and enterprises and governments having new ways to better manage assets.



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