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Bosch acquires Here stake in smart city drive

Bosch said this morning it was acquiring a five per cent sta..

Bosch said this morning it was acquiring a five per cent stake in digital mapping firm Here for an undisclosed price.

The engineering giant said the deal would boost its services business, and propel Here's ambitions to provide real-time location services to a raft of customers both in and outside of the car industry.

Continental has also acquired a five per cent stake in Here, in a tie-up that will be focused on driverless cars and mobility services.

Read more: Daimler and Bosch announce tie-up to bring driverless taxis to the roads

“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 rapidly growing areas of business for us, in which establishing and expanding data-based services will result in synergies with Here."

Here's chief executive Edzard Overbeek said Bosch's expertise in "both the automotive and Internet of Things sectors" was a particular draw, as well as its international clout across the likes of Asia and Europe.

As an example of what the partnership could involve, Here said one potential area it is exploring with Bosch is high-definition indoor navigation maps that could be used to automate flows of goods "all the way to the production line".

Audi, BMW and Daimler purchased Here from Nokia back in 2015 for just under €3bn.

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.

As well as being an automotive supplier, Bosch has been eyeing progress in a range of areas, including artificial intelligence and sensors.

In April of last year, Bosch teamed up with Mercedes-Benz owner Daimler with the ambition of "bringing fully automated and driverless driving" to cities by the beginning of the next decade.

The tie-up will look to put driverless taxis on the road in four locations, including Silicon Valley and Stuttgart in Germany.

Read more: Technology is making our streets safer places to drive

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