Nokia Investing $100 Million in Companies Developing Intelligent-Car Technologies

by Istvan Fekete on May 5, 2014

The Finnish technology company has just closed the sale of its smartphone division, but it has great plans for the future. Nokia is turning its attention to an area that is potentially ripe for rapid technological change: smart cars.

Nokia’s Growth Partner, the Finnish company’s venture capital group, has announced plans to invest $100 million in companies that develop intelligent-car technologies. By doing so, the company joins the race with billionaire Elon Musk and Google, the race for smarter and more connected vehicles.

“We’re seeing innovation that’s happening across the auto ecosystem through the combination of mobility and the Internet,” Paul Asel, a partner at the Nokia venture-capital arm, said in an interview with Bloomberg. “The car is really becoming a platform like when the mobile handset became a smartphone and all the apps and services developed around that.”

Nokia has a significant presence in auto electronics via its Navteq division, which provides mapping and navigation data for vehicles’ sat-nav systems. And you may recall that hot on the heels of the Apple “Mapsgate“, the company released its Here maps application for smartphones and tablets.

As you may already have noticed, car manufacturers are launching more and more sensor-equipped cars each year, and adding smarter dashboard systems, adding features such as real-traffic information and automated calls to emergency services in case of accident.

Also, manufacturers are enhancing the driving experience by adding automated driving systems that may ultimately lead to self-driving vehicles. Earlier last month, we reported the progress Google had made with its driverless cars tests in the US.

Nokia’s Growth Partners has been a bright spot, according to Nokia’s CEO, Rajeev Suri: “NGP has been consistently performing well bringing in both new innovation and financial return to Nokia. Our new $100 million venture fund launched today further underlines our belief that the connected car is a significant growth opportunity where NGP is poised to make great investments,” he said.

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Written by: Istvan Fekete. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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