Uber is reportedly the next big company to submit a bid for Nokia Here. The personal driver service is willing to pay $3 billion for the maps service. Other companies in line with bids reportedly include BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi.
The report cites three unnamed sources close to the matter. It is reported that Uber could use the service for UberPool, a service that debuted last summer and worked by matching riders with a nearby driver for a more affordable journey. Here Maps could also help Uber by supplementing mapping data from Google, Apple and their data systems.
Uber’s growing interest in self-driving cars
Uber may also have an interest in self-driving vehicles. In February, the company teamed up to launch a center in Pittsburgh with Carnegie Mellon University. The center will primarily be for research and development. The focus will be on areas of mapping and vehicle safety. A month later, Uber purchased map company deCarta. More recently, the company hired engineers with mapping software experience. It is apparent that Uber wants to expand its business, and using maps may be just the way to do that.
Representatives for Uber and Nokia declined the opportunity to comment.
Nokia may sell Here Maps service
In April, Nokia announced that it was considering the option of selling Here Maps. China’s Baidu is reportedly working with Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz to buy up the service. Talks between the companies could wrap up soon.
The interest in self-driving vehicles has grown, and many Silicon Valley companies want to be a part of it. Mercedes-Benz may just have a leg up as Nokia first teamed up with the automaker two years ago to create smart maps for autonomous cars. Since Nokia is only considering the possibility of selling its maps division, there is also a possibility it won’t sell it after all.
Nokia’s Here Maps have a lot of value to offer. Selling it right now may be just the move Nokia needs to make.