Intel Joins the 'Self Driving Car' Craze, Buys 15% of Digital Mapping Service HERE

Jan 05, 2017 02:32 PM EST | BC Tabotabo

Intel bought a 15% stake of digital mapping service HERE earlier this week. The chipmaker will be joining Audi, BMW, and Daimler in their quest for fully automated electric vehicles.

HERE. HERE provides a navigation app similar to Google Maps. It uses its data for relevant technology, including IoT (Internet of Things) services and automotive applications.

The transaction will officially close sometime during the first quarter of the year. Intel's Doug Davis, the head of its automated driving group, will then join HERE's Supervisory Board.

Jaguar Cars has incorporated the company's technology for their 2016 XF and XJ models. The company provided drive guidance for the sportscars' in-car infotainment systems. HERE MapCar has also been utilized by Volvo, Hyundai, Mazda, Mitsubishi, and 20 other car manufacturers. 

Nokia sold the company in 2015 to Audi, BMW, and Daimler for $3 billion. Most recently NavInfo, Tencent, and GIC jointly bought a 10% stake in the digital mapping service.

Intel + HERE. The Santa Clara corporation and HERE plan to develop navigation tech that can pinpoint a car's location within centimeters. This is necessary for precise positioning and safety for fully autonomous EVs.

HERE will provide the mapping service and the Santa Clara-based chip manufacturer will provide the chip. The chip manufacturer is known for making cutting edge computer chipsets. Its i7 series is the best in its class. Surely, the Santa Clara-based chip manufacturer has the engineering and know-how to develop electronic works of art. But will the chipmaker eventually develop its own self driving car? That has yet to be seen. 

What About Tesla? Tesla has been celebrated as one of the leading EV car manufacturers. Its Model S is the first premium electric sedan in the world. Most recently, the Silicon Valley company has been hard at work with designing fully automated self-driving electric vehicles.

The automaker has already announced that it will be able to make its fully automated self-driving electric vehicle by 2018. Mobileye has recently criticized Tesla for sacrificing safety in order to get ahead of the race.

2017 marks the official start of the fully automated self-driving EV race. The main contenders are Tesla, Uber, Google Waymo, Lucid Motors, and Toyota. Audi, BMW, Daimler, and Intel have now joined the frontrunners. Who will win the race?

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