Apple Inc. Acquires GPS Start-Up Coherent Navigation

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Apple officially announced that it has acquired Coherent Navigation, a company that’s into global positioning. MacRumours was the first to report the acquisition, suggesting that many Coherent employees, including CEO Paul Lego, have already been absorbed by Apple.

No detail on price

Apple confirmed the acquisition with its usual statement, saying, “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”

Though the iPhone maker acknowledged the purchase, it has turned down requests to reveal anything on the development and did not disclose the deal price, according to a report from The New York Times.

Further, it was mentioned in the report that Coherent’s system is a step ahead of “consumer grade” GPS and that the company has worked on various autonomous navigation, robotics and projects for the U.S. Dept. of Defense as well.

Will it help Apple to improve its Map service?

According to The New York Times, the acquisition holds importance for the company as it could enhance the much-criticized Apple Maps. Citing CEO Paul Lego’s LinkedIn page, the report says that Coherent is focused on creating commercial navigation services by entering into partnerships with companies such as Boeing and Iridium, the satellite network operator.

How much benefit Apple will be able to derive from Coherent’s technology has yet to be seen, as there has been no word if Apple Maps will be upgraded in 2015. At present, the Cupertino, Calif.-based company is concerned with getting the app right, as numerous errors have been spotted and it fails to provide exact answers at times.

Also there are chances that Apple might have acquired the start-up to integrate self-driving features that would depend on the focused GPS info to give safety assurance to the driver. However, the purpose behind Apple’s acquisition is still far from known.

Recently, location-based services have flooded the market with some of the largest tech companies adopting the technology. Uber, the car renting start-up, announced plans to open an institute for autonomous car research in Pittsburgh where the company will work in collaboration with the National Robotics Engineering Center and invest funds into various robotics fellowships and professorships in partnership with Carnegie Mellon University. Also a group of German automakers is planning to acquire Nokia Here to compete with Uber.

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