German engineering giant Bosch is reportedly in talks to take a stake in high-definition digital maps company HERE, according to multiple sources.
HERE, which has been in operations for more than 25 years, has been the focus of healthy media attention in recent weeks as numerous tech companies have been linked to stakes within the company. Last year a consortium of German car manufacturers, including Daimler and BMW, acquired the business from Nokia for €2.5 billion with the aim of sourcing an alternative digital mapping offering from Google, for autonomous car initiatives.
Aside from engineering companies such as Bosch, the consortium has also been rumoured to be negotiating with various cloud providers, including Amazon and Microsoft. While rumours have focused on the consortium attempting to reduce financial exposure, a partner such as Amazon or Microsoft who could provide access to vast computing power, could be useful addition in efforts to establish the realities of the connected car.
HERE has claimed that its mapping systems can be identified in four out of five in-car navigation systems in North America and Europe, and recently extended its technology to the third-party developers in the Samsung connected car ecosystem.
While the move takes Bosch away from its traditional base of automotive components, it does build on moves made by the company in recent months to diversify its business offering. Last month the company announced the launch of Bosch IoT Cloud entering the company into the IoT race. The IoT cloud initiative comprises technical infrastructure as well as platform and software offerings, and claims to cover the full IoT proposition, from the device to the cloud.
“As of today, we offer all the ace cards for the connected world from a single source,” said Bosch CEO Volkmar Denner at the time of the launch. “The Bosch IoT Cloud is the final piece of the puzzle that completes our software expertise. We are now a full service provider for connectivity and the Internet of Things.”
A stake in mapping company HERE could add further weight to Bosch’s ambitions to diversify its business offering and grow within the software market.