Audi, BMW and Daimler successfully conclude HERE acquisition

Article by Andrew Christian, on December 9, 2015

The three prominent German automakers have successfully concluded their acquisition of Nokia’s HERE mapping and location services. In this digital world, the future of agile mobility lies in the hands of real-time maps that are highly intelligent services that are location-based and that offer a highly-automated driving experience.

These rich experiences can be had through HERE products and services. HERE is committed to produce first-rate maps and a newly defined range of location-based services. HERE’s products and services have been benefiting customers in different fields.

BMW Group, AUDI AG and Daimler AG are the new HERE shareholders. These premium automobile manufacturers have, on 4th December, acquired Nokia’s HERE mapping and location services after the deal was approved by all the competent authorities.

HERE’s independence is assured by the shareholders and by its new managing structure. They promise that despite the change, there will be a glitch-free seamless continuation of their business activities. HERE is set to create high definition maps for its customers which include real-time location data so that its consumers can get an in-depth representation of real time information of the real world.

It uses one of the leading mapping technologies along with numerous data sources from cars, mobiles, transport and logistics elements as well as infrastructure sources. Presently, HERE uses more than 80,000 sources and endless probe points every day to deliver accurate maps.

The company also connects efficiently to hundreds of thousands of vehicles through their on board sensors so that it can collect more information about its surroundings. The HERE platform relies on its ever-expanding data addition to deliver world class maps, services and products.

Thus its customers can benefit by experiencing more comfortable travel, increased road safety, and lesser traffic congestion as well as cleaner cities. HERE concentrates on collecting huge amounts of anonymous information from its customers as it has been secured now as an open and independent company.

In this regard, HERE’s location platform moves towards accelerated development with more than 2 million vehicles connected with AUDI AG, Daimler AG and BMW Group providing advanced location based data of high quality.

In a further step to strengthen HERE’s location platform, improve its product line and create new customer services, the three shareholding companies are assessing the advantage of offering sensor data from their fleet of cars to HERE.

Such a step would enhance HERE’s appeal towards customer and investors. Hence, all customers --whether they’re personal consumers, part of enterprises, or the automotive industry itself -- are being urged to make use of HERE in order to have better data delivery as well as attract more investment.

HERE has already successfully provided high precision, accurate and updated maps which have enabled automotive manufacturers to develop highly advanced automated driving features. As a pioneer in this field, HERE has made it possible to move on to this future area of mobility by generating precise maps. In Europe and North America, four fifths of all new vehicles with in-built navigation systems on board possess HERE first rate digital maps.

In the near future, these futuristic maps will also be capable of improving driver trust by enabling ‘see around corners’ systems so that road hazards can be anticipated and driving strategies can be adjusted accordingly.

The company boasts of having the highest level of understanding and expertise for the digital maps technology with 6,500 employees around the world. The three new shareholders very well understand HERE’s potential and are ready to give HERE full control in escalating its growth momentum.

As said by the Chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG, Prof. Rupert Stadler, the shareholders expect HERE to continue its leadership in the map industry, as it has been doing since the last 30 years. Future mobility services development will flow in seamlessly to the advantage of HERE and its customers on account of the unique combination of the leading map services with data input from vehicles, devices and infrastructure.

On behalf of BMW AG, its Board member Klaus Frohlich said that with more partners and customers joining this new working model, HERE will be enabled to produce more updated maps and highly accurate location services in the world of mobility. What customers from the vehicle industry are looking for is highly automated driving. But providing digital maps is not the only leading service that HERE offers.

As commented by Prof. Dr. Thomas Weber, who is Management Board Member of Daimler AG, and takes care of Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development, HERE has exceptional employees and works on high quality innovation, and can thus move on to become the leading digital service provider for real-time location services. HERE plans to build on its present strengths and work on adding new capabilities.

It aims to deepen its value as a market leader amongst automotive customers. Besides, HERE is also planning the expansion of its consumer and enterprise businesses by enhancing organic growth as well as by acquiring new partnerships and acquisitions. The company is working diligently to achieve its aim of creating a world-class location platform which will utilise data from all forms of mobility and will combine interfaces between daily life and the digital world of maps.

The acquisition of HERE by the three shareholders is a secured strategy with a new governing structure and a supervisory board which is comprised of members from the new owners and some independent industry figures of famed recognition. There is no joint control acquisition of HERE by AUDI AG, Daimler AG and BMW group and their roles as investors, suppliers and customers have been precisely outlined separately.

Besides, HERE is open to its broader shareholder base of all customers and other investors. These measures ensure that HERE continues to be committed to its goal of openness and independence. The three shareholding manufacturers expressed their gratitude to Celsius Capital, under the guidance of CARLOS Bhola, for providing immense support from the beginning and for helping to close the investment deal.

Press Release

THE FUTURE IS HERE: TOMORROW’S MOBILITY BEGINS WITH REAL-TIME DIGITAL MAPS

Intelligent real-time maps, location-based services and highly-automated driving: the future of mobility lies in a digitised world – one that can be reached through the products and services of HERE. First-rate maps and a new understanding of location-based services are the foundation for HERE to continue on its successful growth course – as an open, independent and value creating company. This is to the benefit of the many hundreds of HERE customers from multiple industries.

AUDI AG, BMW Group and Daimler AG will provide strong support for this development as new HERE shareholders. The three premium manufacturers successfully concluded the acquisition of Nokia’s mapping and location business HERE on 4 December, 2015 after receiving approvals from all competent authorities. The new shareholder and governance structure is designed to secure HERE’s independence and allow for the seamless continuation of their day-to-day business.

HERE’s location platform is set to deliver high definition maps combined with real-time location information, providing customers with a detailed representation of the real world in real time. This is achieved through HERE’s leading mapping technology combined with countless data sources such as cars, mobile phones, the transport and logistics sector as well as infrastructure elements.

While HERE currently powers its map with data from more than 80,000 sources and billions of probe points daily, the company is actively engaged in connecting to millions of vehicles and their on-board sensors that generate information about the car’s surroundings. The more data added to the HERE platform, the better its maps, products and services become. This brings a huge benefit for all customers leading to more comfort when travelling, safer roads for everybody, less congestion and cleaner urban areas.

HERE being secured as an independent and open company creates new options to accelerate this effort with customers providing the company with huge quantities of anonymised data. In that context the currently more than 2 million connected vehicles from AUDI AG, BMW Group and Daimler AG which are capable of collecting advanced high quality location based data already today offer enormous potential to accelerate the development of HERE’s location platform. To enable HERE to further enhance its location platform, improve its products and generate new services for all customers, the three companies, together with HERE, are evaluating the benefit of providing sensor data from their fleets to HERE. All customers – automotive, enterprise, consumers – are invited to join and benefit, as such a step would make HERE even more attractive for customers and additional investors.

HERE already plays a central role in the development of highly automated driving, because no vehicle manufacturer can successfully develop this future area of mobility without high precision, up-to-date maps. Generating these maps is precisely where HERE leads the way. Four out of five new vehicles sold in Europe and North America with in-car navigation have first-rate digital maps from HERE on board. In future, maps will give vehicles the ability to effectively ‘see around corners’, enabling them to anticipate road hazards and prepare and adjust driving strategies accordingly in a way that increases driver trust.

“No one understands the potential of digital maps better than the HERE team with its 6,500 employees worldwide. The shareholders will therefore give HERE free rein in accelerating its growth strategy,” said Prof. Rupert Stadler, Chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG. “HERE has again and again redefined the map over the last 30 years. It is our expectation that it will continue to lead the industry in its next phase of innovation, thereby creating further value.”

“The combination of this leading map technology with data from vehicles, devices and infrastructure will give HERE and its customers a clear advantage in the development of future mobility services,” commented Klaus Fröhlich, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG for Development. “As more partners and customers join this model, HERE will be able to provide even better, more up-to-date maps and a precise digital real-time representation of our world of mobility.”

“Customers from the automotive industry are particularly interested in highly-automated driving. But HERE is much more than a market leader in digital maps,” explained Prof. Dr. Thomas Weber, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, responsible for Group Research & Mercedes-Benz Cars Development. “With its high level of innovation and exceptional employees, the company has the potential to become the leading provider of technology for real-time location services in the digitised world of mobility.”

To achieve this, HERE will build on its current strengths and will add new capabilities. HERE aims to strengthen its market leadership among automotive customers and expand its consumer and enterprise businesses – through organic growth, as well as strategic partnerships and acquisitions. HERE’s aim is to create one of the world’s leading location platforms, which will combine data regarding all forms of mobility and the interfaces between our daily life and the world of digital maps.

This long-term strategy is secured through a new governance structure, safeguarded by a supervisory board that will consist of representatives of the new owners and independent, recognised industry figures. AUDI AG, BMW Group and Daimler AG do not acquire joint control of HERE and there is a clear separation between their roles as customers, suppliers and investors.

In addition, HERE will remain open to all customers, and be open to other investors who would create an even broader shareholder structure. All this ensures that HERE’s unequivocal commitment to openness and independence is firmly established. After the successful closing of this investment, the three premium manufacturers expressed special thanks to Celsius Capital, under Carlos Bhola, for supporting them from the start and achieving a successful conclusion to this investment.

Topics: audi, bmw, daimler, technology

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