Intel to acquire 15% of HD-mapping company HERE; collaborating on technology for autonomous vehicles and IoT
Intel will purchase a 15% ownership stake in HERE, a global provider of high-definition digital maps and location-based services, from HERE’s current indirect shareholders: Audi AG, BMW AG and Daimler AG. The three automakers acquired HERE from Nokia in 2015 (earlier post) with the goal of securing the long-term availability of HERE’s products and services as an open, independent and value-creating platform for cloud-based maps and other mobility services accessible to all customers from the automotive industry and other sectors. The three automakers hold an equal stake in HERE.
In conjunction with Intel’s acquisition of a stake in HERE, the two companies also signed an agreement to collaborate on the research and development of a highly scalable proof-of-concept architecture that supports real-time updates of high definition (HD) maps for highly and fully automated driving.
Additionally, the two companies plan to jointly explore strategic opportunities that result from enriching edge-computing devices with location data.
Cars are rapidly becoming some of the world’s most intelligent, connected devices. We look forward to working with HERE and its automotive partners to deliver an important technology foundation for smart and connected cars of the future.—Brian Krzanich, Intel CEO
A real-time, self-healing and high-definition representation of the physical world is critical for autonomous driving, and achieving this will require significantly more powerful and capable in-vehicle compute platforms. As a premier silicon provider, Intel can help accelerate HERE’s ambitions in this area by supporting the creation of a universal, always up-to-date digital location platform that spans the vehicle, the cloud and everything else connected.—Edzard Overbeek, HERE CEO
The proof-of-concept architecture HERE and Intel plan to deliver will be designed to help make autonomous driving as safe and predictable as possible.
For example, today’s navigation technology can pinpoint a car’s location to within meters, but next generation, HD mapping supports localization to within centimeters. This will help vehicles precisely position themselves on the roadway to enable reliable autonomous driving functionality.
HERE HD Live Map, HERE’s cloud service supporting vehicle automation, gives vehicles the ability to “see” obstacles beyond their immediate field of vision and receive real-time updates as environments change due to traffic, road conditions and other factors.
Intel will also work with Audi AG, BMW AG and Daimler AG to test the architecture. Intel and HERE envision making the architecture broadly available across the automotive industry as a seamlessly integrated offering that simplifies and shortens time of development for automakers.
By working with Intel, HERE aims to offer automakers a universal solution that reduces both complexity and long-term development costs. Intel also provides expertise in developing and optimizing hardware, which will be fundamental to moving cloud-based algorithms to in-vehicle architectures. This same expertise will support HERE’s strategy to connect multiple industries beyond automotive, such as in the Internet of Things where location algorithms and location-based services are increasingly becoming embedded into connected devices.
Intel and HERE intend to explore other potential collaborative opportunities spanning next-generation cloud analytics, IoT applications, machine learning, augmented reality and more.
The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2017, after obtaining regulatory approvals. Intel will nominate Doug Davis, senior vice president and general manager of the Automated Driving Group (ADG) at Intel, to HERE’s Supervisory Board of directors once the transaction is completed.