Not long ago one of the world's top cellphone makers, Nokia recently completed the sale of its phone unit to Microsoft. Now, it's looking for a new business to focus on, and may have found it in the form of vehicle-to-vehicle communication, mapping and other cutting-edge auto tech.
According to BBC News, the Finnish company has created a $100 million fund to invest in smart vehicle technologies. "Vehicles are becoming a new platform for technology adoption very similar to phones or tablets," said Paul Asel, of Nokia Growth Partners, in a statement obtained by BBC.
Vehicle-to-vehicle tech appears to be the next big breakthrough for automobiles, allowing vehicles to communicate with one another and to share data about their location and speed. It would allow a car to know if there is a hazard around a corner before the driver could see it. Both the Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are pushing for standards for the tech.
Nokia has already made some overtures to the automotive market. A few years ago, it attempted to launch Terminal Mode. The operating system would have allowed your car to use apps and features of your phone, somewhat like Apple's iOS in the Car system. However, Nokia's solution never took off. It also operates a cloud-based mapping service called Here (pictured above) for smartphones, and is working with Continental to develop it further.
The company is entering a field with many players. Intel created its own $100 million fund in 2012 to develop vehicle-to-vehicle, vehicle-to-smartphone and vehicle-to-infrastructure systems, plus other automotive technologies, and the segment is growing quickly.