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William Maley

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


 

AUDI AG, BMW Group and Daimler AG agree with Nokia Corporation on joint acquisition of HERE digital mapping business

 

August 03, 2015 | INGOLSTADT, MUNICH, STUTTGART, Germany

 

Acquisition will secure and strengthen HERE as an independent company serving customers from all industriesReal-time maps and location based services will be the basis for the mobility of tomorrow
Transaction expected to close in first quarter 2016
AUDI AG, the BMW Group and Daimler AG have agreed with Nokia Corporation that they will acquire its mapping and location services business HERE. The acquisition is intended to secure the long term availability of HERE’s products and services as an open, independent and value creating platform for cloud-based maps and other mobility services accessible to all customers from the automotive industry and other sectors. The three partners will each hold an equal stake in HERE; none of them seeks to acquire a majority interest. Subject to the approval of the relevant antitrust authorities, the transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2016.
HERE is laying the foundations for the next generation of mobility and location based services. For the automotive industry this is the basis for new assistance systems and ultimately fully autonomous driving. Extremely precise digital maps will be used in combination with real-time vehicle data in order to increase road safety and to facilitate innovative new products and services. On the basis of the shared raw data, all automobile manufacturers can offer their customers differentiated and brand-specific services.
“Our environment is constantly changing. That’s why the information in digital maps has to be continually updated so that maximum utility can be offered,” stated Rupert Stadler, Chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG. The high-precision cameras and sensors installed in modern cars are the digital eyes for updating mobility data and maps; in this way, information such as speed limits or critical driving situations are already recognized today. All data gained will be processed in compliance with strict data-protection rules.
“HERE will play a key role in the digital revolution of mobility, combining high definition maps and data from vehicles to make travel safer and easier for everyone,” explained Harald Krüger, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG.
This knowledge will be to the benefit of all carmakers and their customers. “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.
Swarm intelligence will create new information density for road maps
"HERE will be able to offer users a continuously improving product, bringing highly automated driving and location based services a step further. As the volume of anonymized data from the vehicles increases, services will become more convenient, more connected and further tailored to the users’ individual requirements,” said Ulrich Hackenberg, Member of the Board of Management of AUDI AG for Technical Development, Klaus Fröhlich, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG for Development, and Thomas Weber, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG for Group Research. It is the explicit intention that all HERE customers are to benefit from this continuous optimization.
The social benefits of swarm intelligence are enormous: They facilitate warnings of hazards in real time, of icy roads for example, based on calculations of individual data such as ABS activations and outside temperature. Upcoming traffic jams will be identified more precisely in the future, significantly reducing the risk of accidents. In this way, the vision of accident-free driving is gradually becoming reality. In a further stage, the data could be used to learn about critical bends on the road, in order to warn drivers in good time or to activate assistance systems. Anticipation of green phases of stoplights could navigate vehicles through an urban area on a “green wave” with the appropriate engine performance and minimized fuel consumption.
High-precision maps are important for autonomous driving and many other forms of assistance systems, as these technologies require an up-to-date plan of a vehicle’s surroundings exact to the nearest centimeter, in order to react in real time. While HERE already produces extremely precise static maps, they can be verified more exactly and continually updated with a constant flow of data from vehicles’ surroundings.
HERE will continue to offer its services and products across industries.
HERE provides mapping and location intelligence for nearly 200 countries in more than 50 languages and is one of the main providers of mapping and location services. The company will continue to develop its position as a strong and independent provider of maps and location-based services, will expand its product offering and continue to make it available to all customers across industries.
The management of HERE will continue to be independent – with the goal of moving the HERE business case forward as a platform, open to all customers. The consortium will not interfere into operational business.


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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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      Seats -- 5 Number of Doors -- 4 Drive type -- AWD Length inches 195.5 Width inches 74.9 Height inches 57.8 Width including mirrors inches 83.7 Wheelbase inches 117.4 Ground clearance inches 5 Turning radius ft 20.7 Shoulder width front inches 58.7 Shoulder room rear inches 55.9 Legroom front inches 41.4 Legroom rear inches 36.5 Headroom front inches 40.7 Headroom rear inches 38.5 Trunk volume (SAE) ft³ 18.7 Fuel Tank capacity gallons 20.1 Curb weight lbs 4,370 Weight distribution Front / Rear % 54.7 / 45.3 Gross vehicle weight lbs 5,380 Payload lbs 925 Engine type -- S63 Cylinders -- 8 Valves per cylinder -- 4 Stroke mm 88.3 Bore mm 89 Displacement cm³ 4,395 Compression rate :1 10 Engine power hp 617 at rpm 1/min 6,000 Engine torque ft lbs 553 at rpm 1/min 1,800-5,860 Fuel type -- gasoline Recommended Fuel -- AKI 93 Engine oil capacity quarts 10.6 Output per liter hp/liter 140.4 Transmission type -- M8HP75 Transmission type -- automatic transmission Gear ratios 1st gear -- 5 2nd -- 3.2 3rd -- 2.14 4th -- 1.72 5th -- 1.31 6th -- 1 7th -- 0.82 8th -- 0.64 Reverse gear -- -3.48 Final drive ratio -- 3.15 Power-steering type -- EPS Steering ratio :1 14.3 Front tires -- 275/35 ZR20 102Y XL Front wheels inches 9.5J x 20 Rear tires -- 285/35 ZR20 104Y XL Rear wheels inches 10.5J x 20 Track front inches 64 Rear track inches 62.8 Cx -- 0.31 0-60 mph seconds 3.1 Top speed mph 155 Top speed with M Drivers Package mph 189
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      The front axle of the new 2019 BMW M5 Competition is equipped with a redesigned mounting for the anti-roll bar. Making the springs at the front and rear axles ten per cent stiffer than the standard version of the new BMW M5 produces a firmer ride and has a positive impact on steering response. Shorter auxiliary springs reduce fluctuation in wheel loads, as does the unique tuning for the damper hydraulics. The athletic character of the new 2019 BMW M5 Competition really comes out with the three modes selectable at the touch of a button. This means the direct connection of chassis to driveline can also be clearly felt in Comfort mode. Selecting Sport mode activates the damper settings perfected for harsher tarmac and curbing of a track like Nürburgring’s Nordschleife circuit. Sport Plus lends itself to the smoother pavement and curbing of grand prix circuits.
      The ultimate in braking and grip.
      The outstanding stopping power of the new 2019 BMW M5 Competition is provided by low-weight M compound brakes, featuring six-piston fixed callipers and perforated, inner-vented brake discs at the front wheels and single-piston floating callipers with integrated parking brake at the rear. The optional M carbon-ceramic brakes, distinguished by their even lower weight, offer greater extreme thermal stability and excellent resistance to wear.
      Standard specification for the new 2019 BMW M5 Competition includes exclusive M light-alloy wheels sporting a Y-spoke design in a bi-colour finish. The 20-inch forged wheels are shod with tires measuring 275/35 R 20 at the front and 285/35 R 20 at the rear.
       
      Specifications
      2019 BMW M5 Competition Sedan
      Seats -- 5 Number of Doors -- 4 Drive type -- AWD Length inches 195.5 Width inches 74.9 Height inches 57.8 Width including mirrors inches 83.7 Wheelbase inches 117.4 Ground clearance inches 5 Turning radius ft 20.7 Shoulder width front inches 58.7 Shoulder room rear inches 55.9 Legroom front inches 41.4 Legroom rear inches 36.5 Headroom front inches 40.7 Headroom rear inches 38.5 Trunk volume (SAE) ft³ 18.7 Fuel Tank capacity gallons 20.1 Curb weight lbs 4,370 Weight distribution Front / Rear % 54.7 / 45.3 Gross vehicle weight lbs 5,380 Payload lbs 925 Engine type -- S63 Cylinders -- 8 Valves per cylinder -- 4 Stroke mm 88.3 Bore mm 89 Displacement cm³ 4,395 Compression rate :1 10 Engine power hp 617 at rpm 1/min 6,000 Engine torque ft lbs 553 at rpm 1/min 1,800-5,860 Fuel type -- gasoline Recommended Fuel -- AKI 93 Engine oil capacity quarts 10.6 Output per liter hp/liter 140.4 Transmission type -- M8HP75 Transmission type -- automatic transmission Gear ratios 1st gear -- 5 2nd -- 3.2 3rd -- 2.14 4th -- 1.72 5th -- 1.31 6th -- 1 7th -- 0.82 8th -- 0.64 Reverse gear -- -3.48 Final drive ratio -- 3.15 Power-steering type -- EPS Steering ratio :1 14.3 Front tires -- 275/35 ZR20 102Y XL Front wheels inches 9.5J x 20 Rear tires -- 285/35 ZR20 104Y XL Rear wheels inches 10.5J x 20 Track front inches 64 Rear track inches 62.8 Cx -- 0.31 0-60 mph seconds 3.1 Top speed mph 155 Top speed with M Drivers Package mph 189
    • By William Maley
      BMW has been saying for some time that an electric crossover based on the X3 is coming. Today at Auto China, we got our first look at it as the Concept iX3.
      The iX3 has some subtitle design differences when compared to the standard X3. Up front is a new take on the iconic BMW kidney grille as they are joined together. Other details include special wheels to improve aerodynamics, blue accents, and a small door on the front fender for the charging port.
      Power comes from BMW's fifth-generation EV hardware which includes an electric motor producing 270 horsepower and a 70-kWh battery pack. BMW claims a range of 400 kilometers (about 249 miles) on the WLTP test cycle. The Concept iX3 can handle a charging rate of up to 150 kW, which will allow it to get an 80 percent charge in a half-hour.
      The production version of the iX3 is expected to launch in 2020 as part of BMW's plan to introduce 25 electrified vehicles by 2025. 12 of those models will be full EVs.
      Source: BMW


      The BMW Concept iX3
      Electric mobility arrives at the core of BMW. BMW Concept iX3 with more than 200 kW/270 hp electric motor and a WLTP range of more than 400 kilometres (249 miles).
      The BMW Concept iX3 represents another milestone on the road to locally emission-free driving under the BMW Group’s electrification strategy. And so a Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV) once again blazes a trail for a new and groudbreaking form of BMW’s fabled driving pleasure. The current BMW X5 xDrive40e iPerformance (petrol consumption combined: 3.4 – 3.3 l/100 km [83.1 – 85.6 mpg imp]; electric power consumption combined: 15.4 – 15.3 kWh/100 km; CO2 emissions combined: 78 – 77 g/km) made its debut in 2015 as the BMW core brand’s first plug-in hybrid model. And the BMW ActiveHybrid X6 presented in 2009 was the world’s first Sports Activity Coupe with a full-hybrid drive system.
      The BMW Concept iX3 previews the fusion of the multi-faceted driving pleasure for which BMW X models are renowned and a locally emission-free drive system. The version of the fifth-generation electric motor developed for the SAV generates maximum output of over 200 kW/270 hp.  The likewise model-specific high-voltage battery has a net capacity of over 70 kWh, which is enough to give the electric SAV a range of more than 400 kilometres (249 miles) in the WLTP cycle.
      Another feature of the high-voltage battery developed for the fifth generation of eDrive technology is its optimised charging capability. The energy storage system has a newly developed Charging Control Unit and is designed to be hooked up to fast-charging stations generating up to 150 kW. The high-voltage battery can be charged in just 30 minutes from one of these stations.
      Electric mobility also means a differentiation in design. 
      In the front, the kidney and the brand emblem show the affiliation with the BMW i brand. The closed double kidney with the blue accentuation continues the BMW i Vision Dynamics brand already featured in the BMW i Vision Dynamics. The closed area within the kidney reduces air resistance, providing aerodynamic benefits.
      Identifying features of the BMW Concept iX3 include a closed-off BMW kidney grille with familiar BMW i car graphic, BMW i Blue accents around the kidney, around the brand logo at the front and along the side skirts, and a diffuser element in the same colour integrated in the rear apron. These styling cues provide a striking contrast against the Moonstone Silver matt exterior paint finish. The concept study is also fitted with light-alloy wheels in an aerodynamically optimised design. 
      Alongside the world premiere of the BMW Concept iX3 and the BMW i Vision Dynamics study also on display in Beijing, the BMW Group is also highlighting the spectrum of design differentiation between the BMW and BMW i brands. The styling of the BMW i Vision Dynamics is characterised by the pioneering design language developed exclusively for BMW i models. The signature looks of BMW i cars will also mark out future models from the brand. This study of a first all-electric model from BMW is clearly defined by the robust and sophisticated all-round character of an SAV, which remains unaffected by the presence of a locally emission-free drive system under the skin. 
      The electric drive will be visible through the design elements from the BMW i design language in the exterior design mentioned above.

      View full article
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