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June 3, 2016

Apple ropes in navigation system specialist to boost mapping solutions

It ramped up efforts to improve Maps app following mixed reviews.

By CBR Staff Writer

Technology giant Apple has roped in Sinisa Durekovic, a software engineer who headed the development of satellite navigation systems used by luxury carmakers, in a bid to boost its mapping product.

BMW, Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen’s Audi are some of the car manufacturers that use satellite navigation systems.

Durekovic joined Apple in an unspecified role in October last year, Bloomberg reported.

Earlier, he worked as principal architect and chief engineer for navigation at Harman International Industries, which manufactures navigation systems for automobile manufactures.

After starting his career in 1994 at Navigon, a global positioning system company currently owned Garmin, Durekovic worked in various roles for over 20 years in developing satellite navigation software.

The iPhone-maker has ramped up its efforts to improve its Maps app this year after continuously witnessing mixed reviews for the product which was launched in 2012.

In May, the company’s chief executive officer Tim Cook opened a 4,000-employee development center in Hyderabad, India. The center will focus on the development of its mapping products.

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Apple has also invested $1bn in ride-sharing company Didi Chuxing that could enable it gain access to Chinese driver behavior and mapping data.

Apple’s CarPlay is currently used by over 40 car brands across the world. CarPlay integrates the iPhone into a vehicle’s information and entertainment system, besides providing navigation as well as music playback and phone calls.

However, some car manufactures have become cautious to use systems developed by Apple and Alphabet’s Google due to concerns over loss of market share.

Both the companies are currently running projects to develop autonomous driving capabilities.

In January, a report by Juniper Research showed the adoption of connected in-car entertainment applications will see an increase as Apple’s CarPlay and Google’s Android Auto see mainstream adoption.

The report estimated that the adoption of connected in-vehicle infotainment systems will generate revenues of over $600m in 2020, posting a 10-fold increase from this year.

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