NAVTEQ helps people get where they're going. Car and navigation system manufacturers incorporate the company's digital mapping database into vehicle navigation and fleet management systems. It also sells to government agencies, mobile device makers, software developers, and delivery services. The database features street names, turn restrictions, weather and traffic data, the locations of hospitals, businesses, and tourist destinations, and other information. It includes data for more than 85 countries on six continents. The company counts major car manufacturers ( Ford, Honda, Toyota, GM, and others), Garmin, MapQuest, and Trimble Navigation as customers. NAVTEQ is a subsidiary of mobile phone maker Nokia.
In addition to 2-D mapping, the company offers enhanced visual content, including 3-D landmarks, 3-D city models, and junction view images, using its NAVTEQ True mapping collection system. The system uses panoramic and high-resolution cameras, LIDAR (similar to radar, but using scattered light), GPS, and IMU positioning (used to guide aircraft, ships, and missiles) to superimpose images over collected data.
NAVTEQ faces competition from Google, which uses and advertising model for its map free services, as well as TomTom, which licenses map data. To address the Google threat, the company has a partnership with Microsoft in which its location information is incorporated into Microsoft's nascent competing Bing Web search tool. To serve the growing mobile device market, business and other location information collected through the NAVTEQ/Microsoft partnership is available on smart phones and other mobile devices using NAVTEQ's navigation technology.
NAVTEQ also continues to expand its content and functionality to stay ahead of competitors. Recent product enhancement launches include 3-D imaging using its NAVTEQ True mapping collection system. It also continues to expand its real-time traffic data service in Europe, Asia (recently in India and Russia), and other regions, and it provides weather condition information (rain, snow, fog and other conditions that affect traffic) through an agreement with Weatherbug.
Nokia paid about $8.1 billion to acquire NAVTEQ in 2008 to further the development of its Ovi Maps segment.