Mercedes joins consortium to buy HERE maps
A recent development in the automotive industry has seen three giant luxury car manufacturers go into partnership. Showroom rivals Mercedes, Audi and BMW have joined forces to buy the hugely-impressive Nokia mapping platform HERE, which we can only assume will be very useful in the development of autonomous motoring. This being the case, it is a logical step for the three major premium car manufacturers to acquire the state-of-the-art mapping system.
The HERE system has been sold for an estimated £1.9bn and it appears likely that the big three will be looking for investment from other companies within the industry. The purchase was one of the industry's worst-kept secrets, with the Wall Street Journal predicting it two weeks before the deal was confirmed.
Nokia's HERE software uses "data generated by vehicles, devices and infrastructure to deliver real-time, predictive and personalised location services". In real terms this means that it can take driving to a new level of awareness of road conditions outside the car, which will be extremely useful for autonomous driving. A digital map is not only for humans; it is also essential equipment for the next generation of autonomous vehicles.
As the deal has just been concluded, it is not 100% clear how the mapping service will be utilised; however, we can safely predict that it will appear on the dashboards of Mercedes, BMWs and Audis at some stage in the future.