Underscoring the auto industry’s soaring interest in technologies related to autonomous driving, rival auto suppliers Bosch and Continental each are buying 5% stakes in HERE Technologies, a global provider of digital mapping and location services for an undisclosed price.
Creating and updating high-definition maps is a requirement for self-driving cars. These must be kept up-to-date with data from the vehicle’s sensors and supplemented with real-time information on traffic conditions, congestion, construction sites and accidents.
Based in the Netherlands, HERE was acquired from Nokia in 2015 for 2.8 billion euros ($3.4 billion) by a consortium of German automotive companies, including BMW, Audi and Daimler.
Officials at Bosch and HERE say their interests go far beyond autonomous vehicles. For Bosch, the investment is designed to boost the supplier’s services business, while HERE can take a further step toward its goal of becoming a global provider of data-based real-time location services to customers both inside and outside the automotive industry.
“Bosch is more than cars,” says Volkmar Denner, chairman of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH. “Industry 4.0, smart homes, and smart cities are rapidly growing areas of business for us, in which establishing and expanding data-based services will result in synergies with HERE.”
Edzard Overbeek, the CEO of HERE Technologies, adds: “We are delighted to have brought on board a strong partner like Bosch, with its broad-based expertise in both the automotive and Internet of Things sectors. Bosch’s strong presence across the Americas, Asia and Europe also offers HERE attractive opportunities to further grow our business globally.”
said it also would sign a collaboration agreement with the Dutch provider of high-definition maps to pave the way for technologies providing data for the efficient transportation of people and their goods.
Software and electronics products are providing the strongest tailwind to growth at Hanover-based Continental. The supplier plans to boost sales to more than 50 billion euros ($60.3 billion) by 2020 from 40.5 billion ($48.8 billion) in 2016.
-- with Reuters reporting