Intel is set to acquire 15% of German mapping company Here, which is owned by BMW, Audi, and Daimler.
The Silicon Valley computer chip manufacturer announced on Tuesday that it has signed a deal with Here to collaborate on the development of maps for highly and fully automated driving.
The two companies said in a joint press release that they also plan to look at “strategic opportunities” that could arise from vehicle data in the future.
Brian Krzanich, Intel CEO, said in a statement: “Cars are rapidly becoming some of the world’s most intelligent, connected devices. We look forward to working with Here and its automotive partners to deliver an important technology foundation for smart and connected cars of the future.”
The value of the upcoming deal has not been disclosed.
Edzard Overbeek, Here CEO, added in a statement: “A real-time, self-healing and high definition representation of the physical world is critical for autonomous driving, and achieving this will require significantly more powerful and capable in-vehicle compute platforms.
“As a premier silicon provider, Intel can help accelerate Here’s ambitions in this area by supporting the creation of a universal, always up-to-date digital location platform that spans the vehicle, the cloud and everything else connected.”
The duo said that the technology they work on will aim to make autonomous driving as safe and predictable as possible, adding that future mapping systems will be able to pinpoint cars to within centimetres — something that would help vehicles to precisely position themselves on the road.
Here passed from Nokia to the German automotive group in 2015 in a deal that was worth €2.8 billion ($2.9 billion; £2.4 billion).
Last month, Business Insider reported that Apple has poached a number of mapping engineers from Here for a secret Apple Maps team in Berlin. However, Here has also been hiring at the same time, recruiting around 30 people from failed taxi startup Karhoo.