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April 11, 2016updated 05 Sep 2016 11:29am

Bosch reportedly looking to buy stake in mapping services firm HERE

News: HERE has been in the location business for the last 30 years.

By CBR Staff Writer

German engineering and electronics firm Bosch is reportedly exploring whether to acquire a stake in digital mapping company HERE.

A spokesman told Reuters that the move is conceivable, adding that taking a financial stake in HERE may not be the outcome of the negotiations.

The intention of the negotiations was to make sure that Bosch can continue to provide services to customers of HERE.

Bosch strengthened its partnership with the Netherlands-based mapmaker TomTom in July last year for high-definition maps to advance the technology required for autonomous driving.

In August last year, a consortium consisting of BMW, Audi and Mercedes acquired HERE from Nokia for $2.8bn for their self-driving car project needs.

After the acquisition, the consortium started looking out for potential partners, especially from the automotive industry, to buy stakes in the mapping firm.

Earlier this month, it was revealed that Amazon and Microsoft are also in talks to buy a stake in HERE.

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HERE allows real-time location applications and experiences for consumers, vehicles, enterprises and cities. It enables smarter management of mobile and fixed assets for a range of organisations.

The company has been in the location business for the last 30 years and has built what it claims to be one of the most accurate maps in the world.

HERE said its maps can be identified in four out of five in-car navigation systems in North America and Europe.

Last month, HERE extended its technology collaboration to Samsung’s new connected car ecosystem.

HERE will make its REST APIs for maps, geocoder, and traffic, among others, available to third-party developers through the Samsung connected car ecosystem.

Global automakers have shown interest in acquiring mapping services companies in the past to meet the requirements of their self-driving car projects.

Automakers are trying to introduce new features to cars by connecting them to smartphones, which has opened up a market for location-based services.

Analysts at Exane BNP Paribas estimate that self-driving and connected car services market will grow to $50bn in the coming years.

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