Conti and Bosch to acquire 5% each of Here Technologies

Bosch buys HERE stake to turn cars into autonomous cartographers

Underscoring the auto industry's soaring interest in technologies related to autonomous driving, rival auto suppliers Bosch and Continental each are buying 5% stakes in HERE Technologies, a global provider of digital mapping and location services for an undisclosed price.

Both acquisitions are subject to approval by antitrust authorities, but the Bosch deal is expected to be completed by the end of the first quarter.

The auto groups, which bought Here from Finland's Nokia in 2015 for around 3 billion dlrs, want to expand the ownership of the company to help make Here technology a global standard used across the industry.

It will also sign a collaboration agreement with Here, to work on digital maps solutions, Continental said.

In 2017 chipmaker Intel said it was buying 15 pc of Here.

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"By leveraging Here's technology, we look forward to generating further profitable growth in mobility services and automated driving", said Elmar Degenhart, chief executive of Continental.

Bosch's disclosure referred to plans by HERE to increase its diversification into non-automotive applications - a move that could help offset risks and uncertainties surrounding the eventual arrival of fully autonomous cars for the mass market.

"Bosch is more than cars", said Dr Volkmar Denner, chairman of the board of management of Robert Bosch. "Industry 4.0, smart homes, and smart cities are quickly growing areas of business for us, where developing and expanding data-based services will lead to synergies with Here".

A group of investors led by Chinese mapping firm Navinfo and internet giant Tencent in September cancelled a previously announced plan to buy 10 percent of HERE, after failing to win USA approval.

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