Audi, BMW and Daimler Complete Deal for Nokia Digital Mapping Unit
Nokia has been working on in-vehicle mapping for quite a while, and in August 2013, the company's Nokia HERE business unit launched its Connected Driving service that was designed to help carmakers and in-vehicle technology suppliers connect the car and the driver to the cloud, according to an earlier eWEEK report. Connected Driving offers a range of automotive products and services that build on the company's mapping technology to provide customizable features on a flexible framework that allows automakers to differentiate the driving experience. It is aimed to help solve problems that drivers face daily, such as syncing routes and other personal information across their car and devices, and finding the right parking spot or closest gas station. Nokia's HERE auto service was built to provide in-car navigation and maps without a data connection. Drivers can get turn-by-turn, voice-guided navigation in more than 95 countries and 2D, 3D and satellite map views including street-level imagery, with more improvements to come. Nokia has been undergoing quite a transition from its past leadership role in the smartphone and cell phone marketplace. With the $7.1 billion sale of its smartphone division to Microsoft in April 2014, Nokia left a business where it had been a major player for more than a decade. It looked like Nokia was done with smartphones.Nokia did something like that before in November 2014, when the company announced its first-ever Android tablet computer, the N1, which is built under license by a third-party device manufacturer. In May 2014, Nokia announced the creation of a $100 million Connected Car fund designed to identify and invest in innovations that would be important for a world of connected and intelligent vehicles, according to an earlier eWEEK story.
But in July, Nokia announced that it is getting back into the business with plans to design and then license some new smartphone models in the future, leaving the actual manufacturing, sales and marketing to third-party companies, according to a recent eWEEK report. The smartphone work will start after the fourth quarter of 2016, when such work is permitted again under the 2014 deal with Microsoft.