Reuters reports that, HERE a Mapping company co-owned by BMW, Audi and Mercedes spent $767 million on R&D in 2016. A staggering amount of money that. Despite all that money spent, HERE may still need to sell more stakes to pay for its R&D efforts. The road mapping company was bought by the Germans for €2.55 billion in 2015. A 15% stake was sold to Intel earlier this year, alongside other smaller stakes which was sold to Pioneer and a 10% stake was sold to to NavInfo, Tencent and GIC.
Although some driverless car developers feel that maps down to 10cm resolution are needed, others, like the UK’s FiveAI, think they are not needed and that sensors and cameras can guide cars without the need for high resolution maps. The market is pretty niche with only a couple of developers gunning for supremacy.
“Everything we do is in testing phase…, this is not a simple problem to solve, otherwise it would have been solved.”
– HERE CEO Edzard Overbeek