Audi AG, BMW Group and Daimler AG Finalize HERE Deal, Pave the Way for Autonomous Driving

As surreal as it may sound, the three main premium German carmakers have buried the hatchet for the acquisition of Nokia’s HERE real-time digital maps service.
HERE mapping 1 photo
Photo: Mercedes-Benz
With the huge financial implications involved, we sometimes tend to think that if any Mercedes-Benz exec were ever caught on the streets of Munich or Ingolstadt without a disguise, he’d never be returning to Stuttgart in one piece. In reality, though, this rivalry of theirs doesn’t resemble a gang war that much...

The best and latest example is this joint venture involving the three great brands formed for acquiring Nokia’s HERE service. The decision to join hands was made in order to maximize the chances of winning what was a very disputed bidding contest, with other important names such as Uber involved.

Back in July, talks had reached a more critical stage, where the three automakers were a little reluctant to paying the very high asking price, which at the time was reported to vary between two and four billion euros.

The transaction’s financial details haven’t been disclosed, but unless you have significant shares in any of the companies involved, that’s not really so relevant right now.

What matters is that this very unlikely trio of German companies is now the shareholder of HERE and has vowed to keep the company independent and allow it to continue its development.

But what’s all the fuss about this company and why is Nokia selling it if it’s that good? We won’t get into the latter part of the question, but the main thing to remember is that having access to HERE’s leading mapping technology is of vital importance to all three carmakers in their bids to create self-driving cars.

To get an idea, HERE can gather its information from over 80,000 sources, including cars or mobile phones, registering several billion probes every day. For any of the three automakers to try and reproduce such a network now it would take a very long time and a huge financial investment.

By keeping the company independent, HERE will be able to receive massive quantities of anonymized data from a large number of sources. For instance, the combined fleets of connected vehicles from the three manufacturers would instantly boost HERE’s information sources with up to two million new receptors.

For full details of the transaction, take a look at the press release below.
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press release
About the author: Vlad Mitrache
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"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
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