Uber Planning to Take over Nokia’s Mapping Service HERE
Three anonymous sources with the New York Times have reported that Uber is offering nearly $3 billion to Nokia's mapping service HERE.
The step followed the reports by the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) that three German automakers, BMW, Audi, and Daimler's Mercedes-Benz, have joined together to make a bid for the service with the Chinese search engine Baidu.
Some people would be unfamiliar with Nokia's mapping service 'HERE', one source with the WSJ told that HERE is the most advanced digital mapping service in the world.
It has been found that Nokia has invested several hundreds of millions of dollars into mapping software in order to keep it as up-to-date as possible from year to year.
Developing a reliable mapping service is time-intensive and expensive, and Nokia has generated a valuable archive of resources for data companies and self-driving cars.
Uber currently relies on a combination of its own mapping data and Google Maps, the latter of which it depends on more heavily.
Acquiring HERE would not only give Uber the opportunity to free itself from Google's mapping licenses, but will also assist in its expanding cab sharing service uberPOOL.
Analysts told NYT that the takeover would give Uber access to a fully established digital mapping business. Adding that its ca sharing service works using geospatial-mapping data to pair riders with drivers, obtaining HERE would be like hitting the jackpot, they said.
Jamie Moss, an analyst at the technology research company Ovum in London, told NYT, "It's extraordinarily difficult to get this type of mapping data. Other than Google, HERE is one of the few companies that can offer this data right now".
Uber has also announced that it has partnered with Carnegie Mellon University to develop the Uber Advanced Technologies Center in Pittsburgh, which will focus on research and development, primarily in the areas of mapping and vehicle safety and autonomy technology.