Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) and Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) have been investing heavily in the intelligent car technologies. And now the Finnish company’s Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) (BIT:NOK1V) (HEL:NOK1V) has decided to pour in $100 million in businesses that develop intelligent vehicle technologies. Tesla, Google, Nokia are all betting that the future cars will be more connected and smarter.
Nokia’s investment aimed at strengthening its HERE maps business
The Espoo, Finland-based networks company announced the investment today at the Global Mobile Internet Conference in Beijing. The investments will be made by Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) (BIT:NOK1V) (HEL:NOK1V)’s venture capital arm Nokia Growth Partners. It’s a move aimed at supporting the company’s digital maps business HERE. The mapping unit generated €209 million of revenues in the latest quarter, and over 50% of that came from vehicle mapping licenses.
Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) (BIT:NOK1V) (HEL:NOK1V) is trying to rebuild itself after selling its handset unit to Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) last month. The company build its maps business by acquiring Navteq Corp in 2008 and 3D mapping technology company Earthmine in 2012. Nokia offers map services to Microsoft, Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO), Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), and a number of carmakers.
Tesla’s driverless car will still need driver inputs
Cars such as Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)’s Model S have introduced smarter dashboard navigation systems. Tesla, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) and other manufacturers are working on self-driving cars that will rely heavily on mapping data and real-time traffic information. Tesla has partnered with Israel’s Mobileye to develop navigation systems for its driverless car. Mobileye is expected to start testing the vehicle in Israel this month.
However, Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)’s driverless car won’t completely eliminate the need of human involvement. It will need human input 5% of the time. In contrast, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL)’s technology won’t require driver involvement at all. Tesla is expected to launch its self-driving car by 2016. Elon Musk says that self-driving vehicle technology is a logical step in the car evolution. Tesla’s Model S already provides Internet access, and services such as stolen vehicle location and roadside assistance.
Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) shares went down 0.46% to $209.94 in pre-market trading Monday.