Bosch to acquire stake in map provider HERE
Bosch is acquiring 5% of HERE Technologies, a global provider of digital mapping and location services. The parties have agreed not to disclose the purchase price. According to the companies, the acquisition gives a boost to Bosch’s services business. It also helps HERE take a further step toward its goal of becoming a global provider of data-based real-time location services to customers both inside and outside the automotive industry.
“Bosch is more than cars,” said Dr. Volkmar Denner, Chairman of the Board of Management of Robert Bosch GmbH. “Industry 4.0, smart homes, and smart cities are rapidly growing areas of business for us, in which establishing and expanding data-based services will result in synergies with HERE.”
Edzard Overbeek, the CEO of HERE Technologies, added, “We are delighted to have brought on board a strong partner like Bosch, with its broad-based expertise in both the automotive and Internet of Things sectors. Bosch’s strong presence across the Americas, Asia, and Europe also offers HERE attractive opportunities to further grow our business globally.” The acquisition is still subject to approval by the antitrust authorities. It is expected to be concluded by the end of the first quarter of 2018.
Bosch says data-based services are increasingly contributing to the company's growth. The planned collaboration between Bosch and HERE could happen in the Industry 4.0 domain, for example. One potential area of application is intralogistics. For example, high-definition indoor navigation maps could be used to automate and streamline flows of goods all the way to the production line. Likewise, they could be used to direct maintenance personnel unfamiliar with a facility directly to the equipment in need of repair.
Open platforms for all customers will reportedly be the focal point of the collaboration between Bosch and HERE, both in non-automotive as well as automotive domains, and particularly where increasingly connected and automated mobility is concerned. High-definition maps are a requirement for self-driving cars. These must be kept up-to-date with data from the vehicle’s sensors and supplemented with real-time information on traffic conditions, congestion, construction sites, and accidents. The road signature provided by Bosch gives an idea of how this might be done. It uses information from the Bosch radar and video sensors in the vehicle to enrich and update high-definition maps. Consequently, Bosch and HERE are exploring opportunities to use road signature in the maintenance of HERE HD Live Map, HERE’s map for automated vehicles. At the same time, Bosch will be continuing its work on the road signature with partners such as TomTom, AutoNavi, Baidu, NavInfo, and Increment P.