Nokia’s HERE Maps sold to BMW, Daimler and Volkswagen

July 27, 2015  - By

Photo: Nokia

After months of negotiation, Nokia will sell its HERE Maps division to a consortium of German automakers — BMW, Daimler and Volkswagen — for $2.71 billion, according to the TU Automotive website.

Under the agreement, HERE Maps would turn into an open platform that all car manufacturers can use for navigation and mapping inside vehicles, giving automakers independence from companies such as Google for maps and navigation at a time when the technology moves toward the connected and self-driving car, which rely on navigation technology.

The three German car makers plan to offer the platform to Fiat Chrysler, Renault, Peugeot, Ford, Toyota and General Motors, allowing them to use the mapping service for free without licensing issues.

Nokia is selling the entire unit of HERE, meaning the car consortium will likely continue hiring developers to work on the platform. Companies like Chinese search giant Baidu and Facebook use HERE Maps to power its own mapping services. It remains to be seen how the new deal will affect those services.

In related news, TomTom announced a new initiative with Bosch — providing high-precision maps for automated vehicles that Bosch is testing in Germany and the U.S.

“Only with high-precision maps will automated driving on freeways be possible from 2020,” said Bosch board member Dirk Hoheisel. TomTom says it plans to have new high-precision maps for automated driving for all freeways and freeway-like roads in Germany by the end of 2015.