Three of Germany's biggest automakers have banded together to buy the HERE digital mapping enterprise from Nokia in a deal that closed this week.

HERE is involved primarily in highly accurate road maps. The technology is found in four out of every five new cars sold in North America and Europe and forms the backbone of many navigation systems. Additionally, the accuracy of the maps will allow automakers to continue developing location-based services and autonomous vehicles, which can properly function only if the vehicle knows precisely (not generally) where it is.

Audi, BMW, and Daimler have banded together to acquire the enterprise for a reported $2.7 billion. But instead of keeping it to themselves, the automakers plan to operate openly and independently. As much as the automakers stand to benefit from having secured their access to the technologies, so does HERE stand to gain from its new patrons. Between them, these three automakers are said to have over 2 million connected vehicles on the road, each of which is capable, according to the joint statement, "of collecting advanced high quality location based data [and] already today offer enormous potential to accelerate the development of HERE's location platform."
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THE FUTURE IS HERE: TOMORROW'S MOBILITY BEGINS WITH REAL-TIME DIGITAL MAPS
AUDI AG, BMW Group and Daimler AG will support the HERE business to openly and independently develop the future of digitised driving


- Audi AG, BMW Group and Daimler AG successfully conclude HERE acquisition
- HERE as leading provider of technology for digitised world of mobility
- Data from vehicle sensors to accelerate development of open location platform
- HERE to expand business in all areas and win further customers beyond automotive
- Shareholders open to other partners and investors from all industries

Berlin, Ingolstadt, Munich, Stuttgart, December 07, 2015 – Intelligent real-time maps, location-based services and highly-automated driving: the future of mobility lies in a digitised world – one that can be reached through the products and services of HERE. First-rate maps and a new understanding of location-based services are the foundation for HERE to continue on its successful growth course – as an open, independent and value creating company. This is to the benefit of the many hundreds of HERE customers from multiple industries.

AUDI AG, BMW Group and Daimler AG will provide strong support for this development as new HERE shareholders. The three premium manufacturers successfully concluded the acquisition of Nokia's mapping and location business HERE on 4 December, 2015 after receiving approvals from all competent authorities. The new shareholder and governance structure is designed to secure HERE's independence and allow for the seamless continuation of their day-to-day business.

HERE's location platform is set to deliver high definition maps combined with real-time location information, providing customers with a detailed representation of the real world in real time. This is achieved through HERE's leading mapping technology combined with countless data sources such as cars, mobile phones, the transport and logistics sector as well as infrastructure elements.

While HERE currently powers its map with data from more than 80,000 sources and billions of probe points daily, the company is actively engaged in connecting to millions of vehicles and their on-board sensors that generate information about the car's surroundings. The more data added to the HERE platform, the better its maps, products and services become. This brings a huge benefit for all customers leading to more comfort when travelling, safer roads for everybody, less congestion and cleaner urban areas.

HERE being secured as an independent and open company creates new options to accelerate this effort with customers providing the company with huge quantities of anonymised data. In that context the currently more than 2 million connected vehicles from AUDI AG, BMW Group and Daimler AG which are capable of collecting advanced high quality location based data already today offer enormous potential to accelerate the development of HERE's location platform. To enable HERE to further enhance its location platform, improve its products and generate new services for all customers, the three companies, together with HERE, are evaluating the benefit of providing sensor data from their fleets to HERE. All customers – automotive, enterprise, consumers – are invited to join and benefit, as such a step would make HERE even more attractive for customers and additional investors.

HERE already plays a central role in the development of highly automated driving, because no vehicle manufacturer can successfully develop this future area of mobility without high precision, up-to-date maps. Generating these maps is precisely where HERE leads the way. Four out of five new vehicles sold in Europe and North America with in-car navigation have first-rate digital maps from HERE on board. In future, maps will give vehicles the ability to effectively 'see around corners', enabling them to anticipate road hazards and prepare and adjust driving strategies accordingly in a way that increases driver trust.

"No one understands the potential of digital maps better than the HERE team with its 6,500 employees worldwide. The shareholders will therefore give HERE free rein in accelerating its growth strategy," said Prof. Rupert Stadler, Chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG. "HERE has again and again redefined the map over the last 30 years. It is our expectation that it will continue to lead the industry in its next phase of innovation, thereby creating further value."

"The combination of this leading map technology with data from vehicles, devices and infrastructure will give HERE and its customers a clear advantage in the development of future mobility services," commented Klaus Fröhlich, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG for Development. "As more partners and customers join this model, HERE will be able to provide even better, more up-to-date maps and a precise digital real-time representation of our world of mobility."

"Customers from the automotive industry are particularly interested in highly-automated driving. But HERE is much more than a market leader in digital maps," explained Prof. Dr. Thomas Weber, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, responsible for Group Research & Mercedes-Benz Cars Development. "With its high level of innovation and exceptional employees, the company has the potential to become the leading provider of technology for real-time location services in the digitised world of mobility."

To achieve this, HERE will build on its current strengths and will add new capabilities. HERE aims to strengthen its market leadership among automotive customers and expand its consumer and enterprise businesses – through organic growth, as well as strategic partnerships and acquisitions. HERE's aim is to create one of the world's leading location platforms, which will combine data regarding all forms of mobility and the interfaces between our daily life and the world of digital maps.

This long-term strategy is secured through a new governance structure, safeguarded by a supervisory board that will consist of representatives of the new owners and independent, recognised industry figures. AUDI AG, BMW Group and Daimler AG do not acquire joint control of HERE and there is a clear separation between their roles as customers, suppliers and investors.

In addition, HERE will remain open to all customers, and be open to other investors who would create an even broader shareholder structure. All this ensures that HERE's unequivocal commitment to openness and independence is firmly established. After the successful closing of this investment, the three premium manufacturers expressed special thanks to Celsius Capital, under Carlos Bhola, for supporting them from the start and achieving a successful conclusion to this investment.


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