More than just a navigation service, Audi, BMW and Daimler are hoping to use HERE’s cloud-based mapping data as the basis for future autonomous vehicles. Like Google, Nokia’s HERE has mapping data for nearly 200 countries that is said to be accurate to within 10-20 centimeters.
“High-precision digital maps are a crucial component of the mobility of the future. With the joint acquisition of HERE, we want to secure the independence of this central service for all vehicle manufacturers, suppliers and customers in other industries,” stated Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG.
While autonomous driving is the end goal, the acquisition of HERE will also benefit vehicles from the trio in the short term. Audi, BMW and Daimler plan to use HERE to track real time driving conditions, which would allow a vehicle to issue other warnings to surrounding motorist. For example, if a vehicle reported an ABS activation due to icy conditions, it could notify other vehicles in the vicinity.
The cost of the deal was not announced, but previous rumors had it pegged at $2.7 billion. Pending approval, the deal should be completed by the first quarter of 2016.