Daily Management Review

German Car Makers Buy off Nokia App HERE to Post Challenge to Google, Apple , Uber


German Car Makers Buy off Nokia App HERE to Post Challenge to Google, Apple , Uber
In order to boost the services offer by them for car navigations and to become part of the growing bandwagon that attempts to create automated and even autonomous cars, Nokia’s mapping asses HERE would be bought over by a consortium created by the three top German car manufacturing companies - Audi, Daimler and BMW.

The deal is said to cost the consortium around 2.8 million euros or $3.1 billion.
The unit originally belonged to American mapping firm Navteq which was bought out by Nokia eight years ago for a reported price of $8.1 billion.

The importance of HERE lie in the fact that car manufacturers are striving to gain uniqueness and competitive advantage from each other through the continuous use in-dash navigation software and the so-called infotainment systems. HERE is being bought by the German auto maker’s consortium for less than half the price that Nokia had paid for it eight years ago. However this is not the ultimate for the consortium as they would have to implement the technology in their cars successfully.

But the German car makers have the advantage of the history of applicability of HERE which is behind some of the world’s most intelligent mapping technology. The technology is already used by many auto makers of the world.

The advantage that HERE has over other similar software for car tracking is that soft ware is able to start to detect lane boundaries apart from the ability to produce highly-accurate mapping that can track a route from point A to point B.

The two technologies together can help the user to take something like in-car navigation to the next level. These are also considered to be the early forms of automated and even autonomous driving.
Thilo Koslowski, vice president and automotive practice leader at Gartner Research predicts that in the next five years or so there would be smart cars that would be able to park themselves or drive around selected cities or corporate campuses.

While most of these innovative technologies would come from the German car consortium, there would be other programs and software that would be created by large technology companies like Google and even Apple and Uber.

Apple has already hinted at plans to develop autonomous cars and Google has self driving riving electric prototype cars are that operate within the premises of  NASA’s Ames Research Centre in California.

Apple, however stayed away from the bidding for HERE as the company has already set up a research centre in partnership with Carnegie Mellon University. The research for the development of driverless cars is conducted here.
The process and technology to map the world has become easier and cheaper due to the proliferation of sensors and mobile tracking technology. This coupled by the move by technology giants to conduct researches into self driven cars of the future, the carmakers bought HERE for such a deal.
The role of the ease and low cost to create maps was revealed years ago when the traffic and navigation app Waze tracked the GPS coordinates of its millions of users to create its own maps. The technology used was cartography via crowd-sourcing. The application as bought over by Google a couple of years ago in 2013 for $1.1 billion.
Experts are of the opinion that the 3 billion dollars that the three German car makers would pay for HERE is not much when compared to the potential of obtaining competitive advantage that the companies would be able to get from the deal.
(Source: www.forbes.com)