There is a long bridge to cross between making almost indestructible cell phones to building futuristic vehicles, but recent news tell us that Nokia (which now belongs to Microsoft, let’s not forget) is investing in smart cars technologies starting from now on, proving once again that the tech guru still has some aces down its sleeve. The official announcement came yesterday via the company’s official channels, stating that Nokia made a
launch of a USD 100 million Connected Car fund to be managed by Nokia Growth Partners (NGP). The fund will identify and invest in companies whose innovations will be important for a world of connected and intelligent vehicles.
Investing in mapping and location services for smart cars is not the newest path Nokia went along in the last years, but is perhaps one of the most successful roads to take in an ever – expanding market interested in connected cars. If we take a look back to Nokia’s history with the smart cars technologies, we will see interesting progress made in this field, with the acquisition of map provider NAVTEQ back in 2008, the purchase of the 3D map technology company Earthmine back in 2012 and a long – term use of HERE – a system which provides location intelligence for connected vehicles. As you see, Nokia is one of the major players in this field, providing maps and location services to other tech giants of the world, including Microsoft, Yahoo, Amazon and a bunch of other car navigation systems.
But because Nokia is investing in smart cars for the future, it also faces significant risks: there are at least two competitors on the market that have their own agendas when it comes to the vehicles of tomorrow: Google is working on introducing Android as an operating system in car dashboards and already started collaborating with major car manufacturers to see this happening, while separately developing its own self – driving automobiles. Besides Google, we also have Apple as a powerful contender in this industry, as the CarPlay is available for some very select 2014 car models. According to the specialists, Nokia’s biggest challenge is Google, as they both manage gigantic location systems. However, the officials from Nokia are very confident in their project and believe that Nokia is investing in smart cars for the greater good of mankind and the company itself. According to Paul Asel, Partner at Nokia Growth Partners,
For the last few years there has been a surge in innovation that has brought technological advances leading to safer, cleaner, increasingly connected, intelligent and more affordable vehicles. Vehicles are becoming a new platform for technology adoption very similar to phones or tablets. We are excited to deepen our collaboration with HERE through the Connected Car fund to invest in companies that are driving the future of the auto ecosystem, local services and personal mobility.
As you see, the future is already here and Nokia is writing it as we speak…