Last time, we talked about the possibility of Nokia HERE maps being used in BMW cars, as well as those of other German car companies. There were many obstacles blocking the way and it took months for the negotiations to be finalized but now, it is official. The German consortium which includes BMW, Daimler as well as Volkswagen will be using HERE Maps after Nokia sold it to them for $2.71 billion or £1.73 billion.
As mentioned last time, the decision to sell the HERE mapping features was decided months ago and bidding ensued which included many companies in Silicon Valley as well as the German consortium. The basic idea was simply to keep the technology out of the hands of such companies as Apple which will then make the control of such essential navigation technology out of the hands of the car makers.
Such a predicament would then affect the creation of self-driving cars which rely on such mapping technology as well, so it would definitely be to the best interest of such companies that are planning to enter the automated car game to have some level of control on that aspect.
The matter of Nokia’s HERE Maps is particularly important for many reasons as well since, according to Floris van de Klashorst, in charge of Nokia Here’s connected driving business , “We are not just building a map. We are creating a 3D high-definition digital representation of the world in real-time.”
This basically means that the users, as well as the self-driving vehicles will have access to any development on the road on a consistent basis.
In terms of the deal itself, the plan is to make the HERE Maps an open platform for all car manufacturers to invest in for their navigation and mapping needs. The German car makers that are part of the deal right now will also be offering the platform to others such as Fiat Chrysler and General Motors which will be able to make use of the mapping service free of charge and without worrying about licensing issues.
The deal involves the whole sale of the HERE unit. This could then lead to more hires by the consortium to keep it in tip top shape. There are other companies currently using the HERE mapping service though such as Facebook, so it would be interesting to see just how much this change will affect those companies.
The original asking price for the Nokia HERE was at $4 billion which was rejected by practically all companies.