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German carmakers buy Nokia’s mapping

  • 3 August 2015
  • From the section Business
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A group of German carmakers, including Audi, BMW and Daimler, are buying Nokia’s Here digital mapping business for €2.8bn (£2bn).

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The company is developing technology that it hopes will help create self-driving cars.

Here uses cloud technology to build digital maps.

“High-precision digital maps are a crucial component of the mobility of the future,” said Dieter Zetsche, chairman of the board of Daimler.

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The carmakers plan to use Here’s technology to combine precise digital maps with real-time vehicle data more closely.

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

The rival automakers each plan to hold an equal stake in Here.

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The company said vehicle manufacturers are sharing data to make real-time map updates a reality.

“No single carmaker can do it by themselves,” Here said on its website.

“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,” said Here president Sean Fernback in a statement.

For Nokia, the sale marks another step in its plan to refocus its business.

Earlier this year, Nokia agreed to buy French rival, Alcatel-Lucent, in a €15.6bn (£11.2bn) deal.

“With this step we complete the latest stage of Nokia’s transformation,” said Rajeev Suri, chief executive officer of Nokia.

“Going forward, we will focus on our planned combination with Alcatel-Lucent,” he added. “Once that is complete, 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.”

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