Monday, August 3, 2015
BMW Audi AG and Daimler will pay about $3.1 billion for Nokia’s mapping assets; see http://www.wsj.com/articles/bmw-daimler-audi-agree-to-buy-nokias-here-maps-business-1438580698. While press accounts emphasize mapping as a necessary component for self-driving cars, I see a more immediate goal: creating new revenue streams.
In-car mapping converts the now common video screen into an ever changing billboard.
Well before consumers have “autonomous driving” options, the dashboard screen will convert position determination and mapping into location-specific advertising. These ads will provide new revenue streams for car manufacturers who can take a page out of Google’s playbook.
In addition to non-revenue services, such as calculating alternative routes to avoid congestion, in-car mapping can link captive consumers keen on finding immediate commercial opportunities like finding the closest gas stations and battery chargers.
Car manufacturers see the need to diversify and move outside their comfort zone. On many prior occasions, they haven’t fared well, or sold prematurely as occurred when GM spun off Hughes/DirecTV.
Drivers need to keep their eyes on the road and so do car manufacturers.