Nokia to invest £59m in smart cars

Nokia Maps

Just a few days after its sale to Microsoft, Nokia has revealed it is turning some attention to smart-car technology.

The mobile-phone giant sees cars as a ripe area for investment, and the £59m will help them to integrate smart-technology that features in many of their mobile phones into the dashboards of future cars.

Nokia already has a presence in the transport industry with its Navteq division who supply mapping and navigation data for sat-nav systems.

The Finnish firm's current navigation system called Here also expands to Nokia's tablets and smartphones; it did have a short spell on the iOS app store but was pulled because of the poor user experience. Although a few days ago a job advert posted on LinkedIn suggested that they could be looking to reinstate the application.

Paul Asel, a partner at Nokia Growth Partners (NGP) said: "For the last few years there has been a surge in innovation that has brought technological advances leading to safer, cleaner, increasingly connected, intelligent and more affordable vehicles.

"Vehicles are becoming a new platform for technology adoption very similar to phones or tablet."

Tech rivals Apple, Google and Intel are rumoured to be very interested in the expanding market for more computerised cars.

Apple already has its in-car feature called iOS in the car whereby the user can plug their iPhone into the car, and then use the mapping system and Siri to make calls, send messages and play music.

Google revealed earlier this year that it has agreed a partnership with General Motors, Audi, Honda, and Hyundai to implement the Android OS into the car's dashboards.

Also Intel has pledged around £60m to accelerate the development of internet-connected cars.

Do we really need smarter cars?