German carmakers buy Nokia’s digital mapping

<p>The Here mapping software has been purchased by a group of German carmakers.</p>

Nokia's Here digital mapping business has been purchased by a group of German carmakers for €2.8 billion (£2 billion).

Here has been developing its mapping technology, which uses cloud technology to create digital maps. Data is generated by vehicles, drivers and infrastructure to create real-time, predictive and personalised location services.

The group of carmakers includes Audi, BMW and Daimler. They plan to use the system in their work towards achieving self-driving cars.

"Its focus is on developing precise and accurate mapping, as well as services that will enable an entirely new class of driver experiences, including highly automated driving," Here explained in a statement.

Commenting on the purchase of the mapping software, Dieter Zetsche, chairman of the board at Daimler explained: "High-precision digital maps are a crucial component of the mobility of the future."

Although the group of companies that purchased the maps are rivals, they are working together to make real-time map updates a reality – and they plan to each hold an equal stake in Here.

"For the automotive industry, this is the basis for new assistance systems and ultimately fully autonomous driving," they said in a statement.

Here president Sean Fernback explained: "The new ownership structure of Here will allow us to accelerate our strategy, further scale our business and fulfil our intent to become the leading location cloud company across industries".

Refocussing Nokia

The sale of Here marks the move for Nokia to refocus its business operations.

Earlier this year, the company agreed to the purchase of Alcatel-Lucent – a French rival, for €15.6 billion.

Commenting on the sale, chief executive officer Rajeev Suri said: "With this step we complete the latest stage of Nokia's transformation."

He explained that the company will now focus on combining with Alcatel-Lucent, and this will help to re-create the business. "Nokia will be a renewed company with a world-leading network technology and services business, as well as the licensing and innovation engine of Nokia Technologies," he said.

At 18:30 in Helsinki, Nokia's stocks were down 0.62 per cent to 6.39 points.

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