HERE (formerly NAVTEQ) helps people get from here to there and from there to here. 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. HERE has been a subsidiary of Nokia, but the mobile phone maker is selling the mapping unit to German automakers AUDI AG, BMW Group, and Daimler AG.
Change in Company Type
As part of its merger with Alcatel-Lucent, Nokia agreed to sell HERE to Audi, BMW, and Daimler. Nokia had acquired HERE, which was known as NAVTEQ in 2008. In 2013, the name was changed from NAVTEQ to HERE. The automakers' deal for HERE closed in December 2015.
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 HERE 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.
HERE has created maps for almost 200 countries and more than half of them can be used for navigation. The company has produced public transit maps for more than 950 cities and indoor maps for more than 90,000 buildings.
HERE's new owners, Audi, Daimler, and BMS, are expected to use HERE's technology for navigation in self-driving cars,the nascent automotive area in which Google, Apple, and Tesla Motors are competitors. Other automakers also have research programs for such vehicles.
In 2015, HERE was working in the Netherlands to evaluate deployment of a cellular network-based Cooperative Intelligent Transportation System (C-ITS) to improve safety and reduce congestion in the Netherlands. The system under evaluation uses standard commercial 3G and 4G/LTE cellular networks as well as location cloud technology and data analytics from HERE to connect smartphones and other devices, road infrastructure and traffic management centers. The system would serve as an efficient low latency data exchange mechanism, whereby targeted information - about, for example, an accident or black ice - could be communicated to the right people at the right time and location.
Mergers and Acquisitions
In 2014, HERE acquired Medio Systems Inc., a Seattle-based company that develops real-time predictive analytics. The transaction enables HERE to create contextual maps and location services that change according to the situation to provide highly personalized and predictive experiences for people and businesses.