The mapping features of a car are important for several reasons. One is to give you great navigation control, another is for self-driving cars to have a better awareness to their surroundings. Well, it would seem that BMW, Audi and Mercedes are thinking about using Nokia Mapping for that purpose.
The deal was supposedly struck at $2.7 billion, beating out Silicon Valley bidders, though it was certainly less than what Nokia was likely hoping for. After all, their mapping technology was bought back in 2008 at a whopping $8.1 billion. With that said, it would seem that if the negotiations are successful, BMW and the rest are planning on having other auto makers participate in investing on the platform as well.
The deal was put in motion due to Nokia’s announcement back in April with regards to their plans on selling the technology. The car makers wanted to avoid having Nokia Here fall in the hands of companies like Google or Apple, wherein their control of the information systems that are vital for the future of car technology would be lost.
Speaking of which, Robert Bosch GmbH and TomTom NV, a German supplier of auto parts and a Dutch digital mapping company respectively are also working together to create hi-def maps which would be used for automated cars.
“We will only be able to have self-driving vehicles on the highway in 2020 with highly accurate maps,” said Dirk Hoheisel, Bosch general manager, in a written statement.
“We want to have highly accurate maps for self-driving vehicles of all highways and similar roads in Germany by the end of 2015,” said an automotive division vice president at TomTom, Jan-Maarten de Vries.
Earlier this month, Nokia held talks with the German car companies in order to reach a final conclusion of the deal. Delays caused by details such as patents and intellectual property might have slowed things down, but that’s about it.
“We are not just building a map,” said Floris van de Klashorst, in charge of Nokia Here’s connected driving business. “We are creating a 3D high-definition digital representation of the world in real-time.”
This is a reference to the shifts in the way car navigation maps are made, wherein static maps are now replaced by versatile maps that chance in real-time, providing details regarding traffic and road conditions.