Automakers have traditionally fought it out over design, performance, features and fuel economy. But, increasingly, they’re battling for technological dominance. And that’s led three erstwhile German rivals to form an unusual alliance that could give them a leg up when autonomous vehicles start to roll into showrooms in the coming decade.
BMW, Audi and Mercedes have teamed up to deliver the winning $2.8 billion bid to buy Nokia’s next-generation mapping business. They beat out rivals in both Silicon Valley and in China who had hoped to purchase the Nokia subsidiary, known as HERE, which is capable of producing much more details maps than those currently used by automotive navigation systems.
“With the joint acquisition of HERE, we want to secure the independence of this central service for all vehicle manufacturers, suppliers and customers in other industries,” said Chief Executive Dieter Zetsche of Daimler AG. (more…)