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From phones to wheels: Nokia invests US$100 million in connected car technology

Nokia has pledged to invest a total of US$100 million in connected car technology, a few days after selling its devices and services division to Microsoft.

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Yes, the world may never see another Nokia phone again, but that doesn’t mean the Finnish company will just simply fade into the past. In a few years, the world may see intelligent car technology funded in part by Nokia. In fact, investing in connected and smart car technology puts it in direct competition with Apple and its automotive endeavours.

The “Connected Car fund,” managed by Nokia Growth Partners, will “invest in promising auto tech and local services companies in collaboration with HERE, a Nokia company, to grow the ecosystem around HERE’s mapping and location products and services,” according to a press release.

HERE is an already established name in vehicle and personal navigation via the web and Nokia apps. Nokia aims to build on its success while taking full advantage of the burgeoning “Internet of Things” market. Integrating vehicles with internet connectivity and native location awareness would create a mesh of smart vehicles capable of understanding and intelligently reacting to road conditions. Connected vehicles of the future will communicate with each other, locate other cars’ positions and thus make the road a much safer environment.

Michael Halbherr, CEO of HERE, has noted that cars fitted with “precise location awareness” will become smart enough to actually help drivers “make sense of the world around them.” Incredibly, cars that drive themselves are not too far off as well, just ask Google.

Although there are possible security flaws inherent with any device connected to the internet, including an intelligent vehicle, there are countless benefits that come with driving an intelligent car. Perhaps someday it would be possible to drive a vehicle by using nothing but a smartphone, but don’t expect to start your future connected car’s engine using a 3310.

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