Driven by a desire to tap into the revenue stream that location-based services would provide, a group of German automakers ponied up roughly $2.7 billion for Nokia’s digital mapping service. The group consisting of German vehicle makers Audi (a unit of Volkswagen AG), Daimler AG (parent company of Mercedes-Benz), and BMW AG outbid proposals from Silicon Valley for the Nokia Here technology that could eventually enable the production of self-driving vehicles.
After the deal is complete between the German automakers systems and the Finnish telecommunications group, the Germans plan to invite other vehicle companies such as Renault SA, PSA Peugot Citroen, Ford Motor Co., Toyota Motor Corp., Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, NV, and General Motors Co to invest in Nokia Here.
When asked to address concerns over Mercedes-Benz vehicles getting attacked by hackers such as was shown in a recent Jeep demonstration, Daimler Chief Executive Dieter Zetsche said, “You can see from reading the papers that we are trying to acquire a platform together with our German competitors, to gain control over the platform which enables autonomous driving, for exactly these reasons. We have the goal of designing security into the software.”
Analysts from Morgan Stanley stated in a note, “As vehicles become more connected, more autonomous and less reliant on human-operated mechanical functions, the question of security will become more important and more frequent. We see the value of software and software content in the average car rising to around 60 percent over the next 15 years from less than 10 percent today.”
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