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January 4, 2017

Intel buys stake in HERE to develop maps for autonomous cars

The two companies will work on a proof-of-concept for high definition maps to be used in autonomous driving.

By CBR Staff Writer

Chip-making giant Intel will acquire a 15% stake in digital maps company HERE as it looks to develop technology for autonomous cars.

Embedded navigation solutions provider Here was started by Nokia before it was bought by automakers including Audi, BMW and Daimler last year.

Apart from the stake acquisition, the two companies have also agreed to collaborate on research and development in the areas of highly scalable proof-of-concept architecture for real time updates of high definition (HD) maps for automated driving.

The companies are also looking to pursue opportunities that result in the development of edge-computing devices with location data.

The two companies’ plan to develop a proof-of-concept architecture that could make autonomous driving safe and predictable to the biggest extent possible. Intel noted that, with tomorrow’s highly developed navigation technology, it could be possible to locate a vehicle within a few centimetres, in contrast to today’s technology which can locate a few meters away.

With the development of such technology, it could be easier for autonomous and connected vehicles to precisely know their relative position on a road, thus making self-driving cars more reliable.

HERE’s HD Live Map and its cloud service can offer autonomous vehicles data about obstacles beyond their immediate field of vision. The data can include real time traffic updates, road conditions and other factors.

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The two companies plan to make the architecture broadly available for automotive industry which could not only be integrated seamlessly but can also shorten the development time for automakers.

Intel stated that it is poised to offer a secure, flexible and scalable technology for autonomous driving from vehicles to data centres.

It plans to do this with its solutions in machine learning, in-vehicle computing and high speed wireless connectivity.

With its collaboration with HERE, Intel expects to further its plans in location-based services, while achieving growth in cloud computing and the Internet of Things.

By working with Intel, HERE aims to introduce a universal solution to the auto industry with reduced complexities and long-term development costs. Here, Intel’s expertise in developing and optimising hardware can significantly help in bringing cloud-based algorithms to in-vehicle architectures.

Intel and HERE are awaiting regulatory approval which is expected in the first quarter of this year. Intel stated that it will nominate its Automated Driving Group’s senior vice president and general manager Doug Davis to HERE’s supervisory board of directors, once the stake acquisition is completed.

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