German automakers Audi, BMW, and Daimler AG have agreed in principle to buy Nokia’s Here Maps business to provide an alternative to Apple’s CarPlay and Android Auto, according to The Wall Street Journal. The three automakers will also allow other car manufacturers to invest in Here’s technology, which includes the most advanced map of the world’s major roads. This would create a connected car platform that would rival Apple’s and Google’s.
Although many carmakers have said they would support CarPlay and Android Auto in future models, they are also worried about giving away valuable data to tech players now entering the auto market. Automakers could avoid that by developing their own connected car platform out of Nokia’s Here.
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Ford, GM, and Audi recently announced that they won’t share data from their vehicles’ systems (such as steering and throttle systems) with Apple and Google. The carmakers probably want to monetise that data for themselves. They could sell it to insurance companies to help determine driver risk and premiums, or use it to diagnose mechanical problems earlier and encourage drivers to visit dealerships for preventive care. GM said earlier this year that it could make up to $US350 million in revenue over the next three years on data from its connected cars.
However, if automakers are going to support CarPlay and Android Auto, they will have to share some data with Apple and Google, such as GPS data for mapping apps. If they can develop and market their own platform though, automakers won’t have to share any data with the tech giants.
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