Why Germany's top auto companies just bought Nokia HERE for $3 billion

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BI Intelligence has been covering the recently rumoured acquisition of Nokia’s HERE high definition mapping service by Audi, BMW, and Daimler AG, and the deal was finally confirmed yesterday. The three German car manufacturers will purchase HERE, which has the most accurate high-definition maps in the world, for $US2.8 billion.

The acquisition serves two key purposes for the three automakers:

  • The mapping service can be used to develop a connected car infotainment system to compete with Apple’s CarPlay and Android Auto. Media reports have said that the three automakers plan to build such a platform and open it up to other car manufacturers. Automakers are concerned about sharing valuable data about their cars and customers with Apple and Google through CarPlay and Android Auto.
  • This acquisition will help the carmakers develop autonomous vehicles that use HERE’s maps in their navigation systems. HERE’s high-definition mapping service provides extremely precise and complex maps that autonomous cars require for navigation. Uber was one of the other suitors interested in purchasing Nokia HERE to support its own self-driving car ambitions.

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