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HERE Extends BMW, Mazda Alliances To Its Location Platform

The race to power the intelligence of the connected car is on and BMW is the first automaker to sign on to the HERE platform.

*This news item has been updated to reflect the additional integration of Mazda to HERE’s platform

HERE has brought in its co-owner BMW as the first automaker member of its Location Platform.

The alliance is part of the car manufacturer’s plans to add more geo-data based connected services. As for HERE, working with BMW should help attract other car companies to its location services platform. The digital navigation provider is ultimately working to achieve its ambitions to serve as a key player in the mapping of Smart Cities.

The move comes almost two years after HERE’s previous parent Nokia  sold the location and mapping provider for $3 billion to a consortium of Germany carmakers: AUDI, Daimler, and BMW.

Given that existing relationship between HERE and BMW, the alliance is no surprise. But it does demonstrate the series of steps HERE’s owners are likely to take as they respectively pursue their own connected car initiatives.

A day after the BMW announcement, HERE said that Mazda had extended its partnership with the mapping provider. Mazda will be taking further advantage of in-dash infotainment systems powered by maps and turn-by-turn navigation.

Car And Map Care

Mazda is also participating in the HERE MapCare program, enabling drivers purchasing a new vehicle to benefit from annual map updates for up to three years.

HERE MapCare is an 8-year-old program that offers drivers up-to-date maps. So far, more than 15 million vehicles have been sold equipped with the MapCare system.

“We are very pleased to support Mazda in bringing a high quality navigation experience to its customers around the world,” said Bruno Bourguet, SVP Sales & Business Development at HERE. “At HERE, we pride ourselves on offering the most accurate and freshest automotive-grade maps as they form an essential part of a safe and enjoyable driving experience.”

HERE has been a pioneering company in the digital space that has aggressively been repositioning itself for the IoT and mobile revolution

Specifically, BMW can use HERE’s data to build “location-enriched services” that combines car sensor data with other information streams available through the platform via “Smart Cities” initiatives and the broader Internet of Things.

Initially, the shared data from BMW’s connected car sensors and HERE’s geo-data will make it possible for vehicles to better detect, process and validate digital signals that can alert drivers of upcoming road hazards, changing speed limits, and physical road dividers.

“The raw data crowd-sourced from car sensors becomes more valuable when you have contextual information for that data,” said Peter Kürpick, Chief Platform Officer of HERE, in a statement.

The Connected Car Data Marketplace

“Our analytical tools provide that rich location context giving BMW and other automakers the ability to turn their data into differentiating services that elevate the driving experience,” Kürpick added.

This partnership is part of HERE’s attempt to build a marketplace where entities from any industry can access a wide assortment of different data streams, ranging from road geometry and real-time traffic conditions to weather, live public transit information and other non-automotive data sources.

“We are already shaping the industry ecosystem. Together with HERE and in combination with our partner Mobileye, announced recently, we are creating an essential nucleus on the Open Location Platform for self-healing HD maps required by autonomous driving,” said Stefan Butz, VP of Location based Services within BMW. “The platform empowers our developers with a rich feature set to easily analyze data and develop cloud based location services with short time-to-market cycles for our customers.”

HERE has been carefully cultivating a number of global backers to fuel its IoT, Smart Cities, and connected car expansion plans. In January, a week after HERE completed a financing with three Asian tech investors to pave its entrance into China, microprocessing giant Intel acquired a 15 percent stake in the location services company.

Intel and HERE have since been exploring 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,” said Brian Krzanich, Intel CEO, said at the time. “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.”

About The Author
David Kaplan David Kaplan @davidakaplan

A New York City-based journalist for over 20 years, David Kaplan is managing editor of GeoMarketing.com. A former editor and reporter at AdExchanger, paidContent, Adweek and MediaPost.