Following last week’s preview, Audi, BMW and Daimler have today released more details about the deal to buy Nokia’s HERE mapping business.
Audi has also published a video that goes to show the importance of real-time digital maps and how these impact today’s safety and assistance systems. Ultimately, these will represent the cornerstone of autonomous driving technology as sooner or later whether we like it or not, driverless car will hit the streets.
HERE’s map data continuously evolves as it gathers info from more than 80,000 sources and billions of probe points each and every day. Right now, there are more than two million cars on the road from Audi, BMW and Daimler that come with services provided by HERE. This number will obviously grow substantially in the years to come now that the three German premium marques have an equal share in HERE. Interestingly, four out of five new cars sold in Europe and North America with in-car navigation have digital maps provided by HERE.
The trio has announced plans to keep HERE independent, but they are open to allow new investors join the business. At the moment, around 6,500 people are working for HERE all over the world and the new owners promise to expand the business through “organic growth, as well as strategic partnerships and acquisitions.”
With a 33% share in HERE, Audi now has a significant asset that will help the brand boost its advancements in autonomous driving technology. As a matter of fact, the next-gen A8 due late 2016 / early 2017 will come with semi-autonomous driving technology, so get ready for more and more highly advanced systems. Although these take the fun out of driving, such tech will make our roads safer and ultimately this is more important.