Uber Technologies is the latest company in the race along with Facebook and Microsoft, to acquire Nokia’s HERE mapping service. The company has reportedly bid $3 billion, in a bid to reduce its dependency on Google Maps.
Last month, Nokia announced its plans to divest itself from the HERE mapping service, and auto-manufacturers Audi, Mercedes-Benz, BMW expressed its willingness to partner with Chinese social-media firm Baidu, to acquire the company. According to New York Times, three sources have revealed the bid by the ride-sharing service Uber. The sources added that only Uber and a private equity firm have offered bids.
“Other than Google, Here is one of the few companies that can offer this data right now,” said Ovum, a London-based research firm.
Uber pulls data from Google Maps, Apple Maps and other mapping services, along with its own online data. In March, Uber has announced that it would acquire a mapping and location company DeCarta Technology, based in San Jose, California. DeCarta will help the company’s UberPool service which requires complex route data. Uber is gradually transitioning from Google by hiring several mapping software engineers.
The ride-sharing service company has partnered with Carnegie Mellon University in February, for research and development in transportation technologies. The research team is also focusing on vehicle safety and autonomous technology, which has already been invested by Google. Google Ventures, the company’s venture capital firm is an investor in Uber.
The battle to acquire HERE is heating up as the automobile sector, is aiming to use the technology for autonomous cars, and also plans to license the service globally to compete with Google Maps. Apple is also a potential candidate as it failed to improve its Apple Maps service. With $180 billion in the bank, Apple could easily outbid other competitors. Uber is set to announce the sale by next month.[ Via ]