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Industry News: Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz Buy Nokia's HERE Maps

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A consortium of German automakers which include Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz have agreed to buy Nokia's HERE mapping business for around $3.1 billion dollars. The deal is currently pending approval of antitrust authorities. If the deal is given the go-ahead, the three automakers will own a stake by early 2016.

 

HERE is one of the most advanced and largest digital mapping and location systems. It was originally started back in 1986 with Navteq before being acquired by Nokia in 2007. The service maintains digital maps for nearly 200 countries, and updates continuously by gathering data from users.

 

Now why are three automakers interested in a mapping service? The end goal is for the system to be used with autonomous vehicles. But the three automakers are also interested in integrating it with their connected car technology. An example is warning drivers of icy conditions via outside temperature and ABS activation.

 

Now the three automakers insist that HERE will remain open "to all customers from the automotive industry and other sectors." Also, the new owners will stay out of the day to day business of HERE.

 

"High-precision digital maps are a crucial component of the mobility of the future. With the joint acquisition of HERE, we want to secure the independence of this central service for all vehicle manufacturers, suppliers and customers in other industries," stated Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG.

 

Source: Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz

 

Press Release is on Page 2






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I originally just saw "Industry News: Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz Buy Nokia" and got really excited. I thought we were going to get some undestructable Audis, BMWs and Mercedes.

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Wonder if this is so they do not have to pay Google or Apple for their nav systems.

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      The BMW X4 xDrive30i comes standard with xLine and exclusive design features are available for the BMW X4 M40i M Performance model. Standard sports seats and interior trim strips in Dark Oak Wood with accent strips in Pearl-effect Chrome give the cabin of the BMW X4 xDrive30i an air of elegance. The audio and air conditioning control panels sport a Pearl-effect Chrome surround and Highgloss Black highlights. The BMW X4 M40i also comes with M specific sports seats, a sport leather steering wheel and the standard anthracite-colored BMW Individual headliner, complemented by interior trim strips in Aluminum Rhombicle with accent strips in Pearl-effect Chrome. Standard on the BMW X4 xDrive30i model is a Sensatec instrument panel and door shoulder.There is also the option of the new Vernasca leather upholstery, which is exclusively available for the all-new BMW X4 in the color Tacora Red, as well as in Black with a choice of blue or red contrast stitching for both the 30i with M Sport package and the M40i. Additionally, the BMW X4 M40i can be specified with options from the BMW Individual portfolio. Options include BMW Individual extended Merino leather upholstery (in the color combinations Ivory White/Black, Fiona Red/Black and Tartufo/Black),

      Comfort and functionality.
      A far wider array of options, offers greater scope for customers to increase both the comfort and functionality of the all-new BMW X4. The range includes electrically adjustable and heated seats, active seat ventilation and three-zone automatic climate control with separately adjustable temperature control in the rear. A standard panoramic glass moon roof with much larger dimensions than the predecessor offers passengers additional comfort. The two-section glass surface with an overall length of 36.4 inches and a width of 35 inches allows the amount of light in the interior and the supply of fresh air to be varied as required and creates space. The sun blind is electrically operated, as is the front section of the glass roof.

      Three full-size seats are fitted in the rear compartment of the all-new BMW X4, providing the passengers there with an additional 1 inch of legroom over the predecessor model. The trunk features a capacity of 18.5 ft³ and the load space can be expanded to a maximum of 50.5 ft³ as required by folding down the sections of the rear backrest, with its standard 40:20:40 split. For added ease, the backrest sections can be released remotely from the trunk, while their angle to be individually adjusted, too. The standard storage package adds additional compartments, USB ports and 12V sockets, as well as multifunctional hooks and lashing rails in the trunk.
      Powertrain and driving experience.
      The all-new BMW X4 will be launched with a choice of latest-generation power units. The four-cylinder unit in the all-new BMW X4 xDrive30i generates 248 hp and peak torque of 258 lb-ft, which is on tap between 1,450 and 4,800 rpm. This enables the car to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 6 seconds. The BMW TwinPower Turbo technology for the gasoline engines comprises a twin-scroll turbocharger, High Precision Injection, VALVETRONIC fully variable valve timing and Double-VANOS variable camshaft control.

      The BMW M Performance model comes with an inline six-cylinder engine. Both model variants direct their engine’s power to the road via an eight-speed Steptronic transmission and BMW xDrive intelligent all-wheel drive as standard, resulting in effortless progress over smooth roads and rough terrain alike. Gear selections can be selected manually using the shift paddles on the steering wheel. The standard eight-speed Sport transmission offers exceptionally fast gear changes as well as a Launch Control function. The standard-fit Driving Experience Control switch lets drivers choose from SPORT, COMFORT and ECO PRO set-ups, while the BMW X4 M40i, and BMW X4 xDrive30i models also add a SPORT+ mode.

      The engines under the hood of BMW M Performance Automobiles stand out with their instantaneous response and tireless power delivery. With its trademark free-revving performance, maximum output of 355 hp and peak torque of 365 lb-ft, the power unit in the all-new BMW X4 M40i enables it to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 4.6 seconds.

      Reduced weight, enhanced aerodynamic properties.
      An intelligent material mix has made it possible to bring about a substantial weight saving, not just in the chassis design but also in the body’s construction. BMW EfficientLightweight measures led to the increase in the proportion of aluminum as well as high-strength and ultra-high-strength grades of steel. This has made the body structure more solid than ever, serving up benefits for both vehicle agility and occupant protection. Additionally, the car has a significantly lower center of gravity which enhances the Sports Activity Coupe’s cornering dynamics.

      Another factor in the dynamism and efficiency of the all-new BMW X4 is a reduction in aerodynamic drag of around 10 percent. This advance has been achieved by streamlining the body at the same time as incorporating a raft of additional measures, including active air flap control, the Air Curtains in the front apron and additional underbody cladding. The all-new BMW X4 sets a new benchmark in its segment with a drag coefficient (Cd) of 0.30.

      BMW xDrive: precise distribution of power with optimized efficiency.
      The latest version of the system is lighter and more efficient. Plus, the wonderfully precise electronic control of the intelligent all-wheel drive also splits drive power to the sporting effect for which the brand is renowned; the rear-biased set-up produces a highly rewarding driving experience, especially when powering through corners. Besides offering BMW handling stability, BMW xDrive also enhances traction over loose terrain, providing the all-new BMW X4 with tremendous off-road capabilities. With a ground clearance of 8 inches a fording depth of 19.6 inches, break over angle of 19.4° and angles of approach and departure of 25.7° and 22.6° respectively, the Sports Activity Coupe takes everything in its stride, from crests and bumps in the road to gravel tracks, icy roads and steep slopes.

      First-class chassis technology with bespoke set-up.
      The all-new BMW X4 boasts a marked increase in agility combined with a high degree of ride comfort, courtesy of chassis technology that has been systematically refined and honed for the specific requirements of the Sports Activity Coupe. The design principle of a double-joint spring strut axle at the front and five-link rear axle forms the ideal basis for a harmonious blend of dynamism and comfort. Fitting aluminum swivel bearings, lightweight tubular anti roll bars and new wheel location components at the front axle has brought about a considerable reduction in unsprung masses. Standard specification for the all-new BMW X4 xDrive30i includes not only M Sport suspension but also variable sport steering. Specially tuned to deliver extra-dynamic handling qualities, this version of the Electric Power Steering system ensures slick precision through keenly taken corners and straight-line stability. The speed-sensitive Servotronic power assistance, meanwhile, makes light work of maneuvering.

      The car’s impressively sporty and well footed handling characteristics are enhanced by the powerful lightweight braking system and the Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) system, whose wealth of features includes the Antilock Braking System (ABS), Dynamic Traction Control (DTC), Automatic Differential Brake (ADB-X), Cornering Brake Control (CBC), Dynamic Brake Control (DBC), Start-Off Assistant and Hill Descent Control (HDC). The Performance Control function also included as standard gives the all-new BMW X4 even sharper handling by varying the distribution of drive torque to the rear wheels according to the situation at hand. 19-inch light-alloy wheels also form part of standard specification, while wheel options offered include 19 inch, 20 inch and 21 inch wheel offerings.

      The BMW M Performance model.
      Featuring model specific design and equipment features, the inline six cylinder engine is supported by chassis technology that has been precisely tuned to handle the high drive power. In the US, the BMW X4 M40i variant comes standard with M Sport brakes, which allow drivers to enjoy exceptionally dynamic handling with phenomenal stopping power. The system includes extra-large brake discs and blue painted calipers. Also standard is the Adaptive M Suspension featuring electronically controlled dampers whose responses adjust to the nature of the road and driving style. Drivers can choose between a sportier or more comfortable basic setting by activating the relevant performance maps using the Driving Experience Control switch.

      The standard M sports exhaust system produces unmistakable sound while the M Sport differential serves up wonderfully dynamic cornering. The flap-controlled M sports exhaust system on the BMW M Performance models doesn’t just make a great impression acoustically, though – its trapezoidal tailpipes in black chrome form a stunning visual highlight. Power is relayed to the wheels via an eight-speed Steptronic Sport transmission including Launch Control function as standard. The sporty nature of the BMW M Performance model is enhanced by the rear biased set-up of the BMW xDrive all-wheel drive and the Performance Control function. The standard M Sport differential generates a precise locking effect at the rear wheels, priming the car perfectly to power out of corners with dynamic drive.

      The BMW X4 M40i comes equipped as standard with M Sport brakes and 19-inch light-alloy wheels; variable sport steering and M Sport suspension with firmer spring and damper tuning. The M Sport brakes are specially designed with an extra-large master cylinder to help optimize braking feel. Customers can also opt for the Adaptive M suspension, which is exclusively available for the two BMW M Performance models and further broadens the range of adjustment between sporty handling and well-balanced ride comfort. Two 19-inch wheels with either performance run-flat tires or all-season run-flat tires are available. Sporting a Double-spoke M twinspoke design in bi-color Orbit Grey polished finish, they add a striking visual touch. The options list also includes two 20-inch light-alloy wheels, and one 21-inch M Double-spoke Cerium Gray wheel.

      Aerodynamically refined exterior with M appeal.
      Aerodynamically optimized body elements combined with model-specific exterior design features add to the sporty and exclusive looks of the BMW M Performance. The Cerium Grey finish for the exterior mirror caps and front air intake trim inserts is just one example. A Sensatec covering for the instrument panel and door shoulders, sports seats, model badging for the door sill strips, instrument panel and instrument display, plus additional details such as the sport leather steering wheel, M pedals and M driver’s footrest, all help to inject the cabin with unmistakable M flair.

      Controls and driver assistance systems. Innovations for comfortable, safe driving.
      The latest version of the iDrive operating system fitted in the all-new BMW X4 is designed to offer even more flexible and ergonomic control of vehicle, navigation, communication and infotainment functions. Its Control Display now takes the form of a freestanding monitor with a screen diagonal of 10.25-inch as standard. The high-resolution display that comes with the standard Navigation system Professional includes touchscreen functionality. The intuitive touch control also offers a tile-style menu layout with live content. The voice control system is the latest from BMW and can follow freely formulated instructions to find a point of interest such as, “Find a coffee shop near the Empire State Building” or simply, “I’m hungry”. There is also the option of using BMW gesture control in the all-new BMW X4, allowing certain functions to be operated with simple movements of the hand or fingers, which are registered by a 3D sensor in the center console and translated into the relevant commands. Another option is the new-generation BMW Head-Up Display, whose projection area has been expanded by 75 percent. This system reflects driving-related information onto the windscreen in full color and with a resolution of 400 x 800 pixels, so that it appears directly in the driver’s field of vision. The optionally available Dynamic Digital Instrument Cluster, meanwhile, visualizes the driving-related cockpit information in a style that reflects the selected driving mode.

      Cutting-edge assistance systems enhance comfort and safety.
      When it comes to driver assistance and semi-automated driving, all the systems currently offered by BMW are available, such as the latest generation of Active Cruise Control (ACC) with Stop & Go, whose capabilities include braking the car to a halt in stop-and-go traffic and automatically restarting to drive. The Driving Assistance Package includes Blind Spot Detection, Lane Departure Warning, Daytime Pedestrian Protection, Frontal Collision Warning with City Collison Mitigation, Cross Traffic Alert rear, and Speed Limit Information. The Driving Assistant Plus Package builds upon that with: Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go, Active Lane Keeping Assistant with Side Collision Avoidance, Traffic Jam Assistant, Evasion Aid & Cross Traffic alert front and rear

      Parking with ease: ParkNow and On-Street Parking Information.
      The ParkNow service, available in iDrive, allows parking spaces at the roadside and in parking garages to be easily located, booked and paid for without the need for cash. This cash-less, ticket-less, and hassle-free service can greatly shorten the time taken to find and pay for parking. In-car integration of ParkNow is initially available in select cities nationwide. Visit www.park-now.com for details.

      First launched with the BMW 5 Series, the new On-Street Parking Information (OSPI) service now available in 20 cities helps alleviate the problem of vehicles searching for available on-street parking spaces – which accounts for a large part of traffic congestion in city centers. OSPI works in a similar way to the Advanced Real Time Traffic Information System, using historical and current data as well as complex algorithms to draw conclusions regarding the potential availability of on-street parking spaces in specific zones or in a particular part of the city. The probability of on street parking availability is shown on the Navigation map as colored indicators along the street, allowing the driver to minimize the need to circle the block in search of a spot by targeting streets with a higher probability of available parking spaces.

      The options list likewise includes a WiFi hotspot offering a high-speed internet connection (LTE) for up to ten mobile devices. Apple CarPlay Compatibility is included with a one-year trial. The industry’s first implementation of a wireless Apple CarPlay solution is now augmented with a flexible way for customers to continue the feature after their trial period. After the inclusive one-year trial, customers can elect to buy the feature from the ConnectedDrive Store within the My BMW ConnectedDrive portal or right from the driver’s seat from within the iDrive menu system of the vehicle.

      This system also comprises the Top View, Panorama View and 3D View functions, which combine to depict a 360º image of the vehicle and the surrounding area on the Control Display. The Remote 3D View function additionally gives drivers the ability to call up a three-dimensional live image of their vehicle and its immediate vicinity on their smartphone via BMW Connected.

      Linked up to the driver’s digital world thanks to BMW Connected.
      The digital services from the BMW Connected app, available on both iOS and Android, bring intelligent connectivity to the all-new BMW X4 and unparalleled convenience for the driver. With the help of the Open Mobility Cloud platform, the digital services connect to the BMW X4 via devices such as smartphones or smartwatches, resulting in seamless connectivity.

      The selection of devices that can connect to the new BMW X4 by means of BMW Connected go beyond the smartphone by supporting devices such the Apple Watch, Amazon Echo, and Google Assistant. Customers can speak to the Amazon Echo or Google Assistant to check the fuel level, lock the vehicle or activate the ventilation function, all from the comfort of their home.

      With BMW Connected, being on-time has never been simpler. Machine learning made possible by the Open Mobility Cloud allows BMW Connected to learn your routines and suggest the optimal time to leave for an appointment. Location based services and real time traffic information help optimize your journey even before entering the vehicle. Once on your route, the Advanced Real-Time Traffic Information can continue to optimize your journey. Crowd-sourced vehicle to vehicle communication is now employed within the inter-connected BMW fleet to provide advance warning of hazardous traffic situations. Information on detected hazards presented by an accident, a broken-down vehicle, dense fog, heavy rain or black ice, for example, is relayed to the BMW backend from where it is sent into the navigation system of both the driver’s car and other BMWs in the vicinity.

      Connectivity enhances safety, comfort and infotainment.
      The standard built-in SIM card also allows drivers of the all-new BMW X4 to use Intelligent Emergency Call with automatic locating and accident severity detection. With the new BMW Teleservice Accident Assistance, the vehicle now detects low-speed collisions below the threshold for airbag deployment. The driver receives a message in the iDrive display offering to contact the BMW Accident Assistance service directly. A push of a button is all it takes to obtain professional support from the BMW Accident Assistance team, who can also put the customer in touch with a BMW Service Partner if necessary.

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