Nokia Investing $100 Million in Connected-Car, Self-Driving Technology

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Winston Churchill famously said, “To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.” Through the years, many companies have taken to that advice. Apple went from building computers to also being a leader in smartphones and cloud storage, while companies like Blackberry are circling the drain, stuck on old-hat. Nokia is a tech company that might have gotten wise at the right time.

The Finnish tech company has long been on the short list of notable players in the cell phone game, but it has seen its market share drop since 2008. It is being outpaced by Samsung and Apple, but isn’t going to take it sitting down. To that end, it has invested $100 million in self-driving technology and connected car development.

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The fund, which will be managed by Nokia Growth Partners, is seeking out firms that are making advances in this sector. According to the UK’s AutoExpress, one of the areas that it will be investing in is mapping services, which will enable vehicles to be aware of more of its surroundings. That includes roads, locations, businesses, construction, and other vehicles. This tech would be able to underpin future autonomous cars.

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Nokia is also looking at in-car connectivity, and how your smartphone interacts with your vehicle. The result could be a mirroring operating system like Apple’s CarPlay or Google forthcoming Android in-car operating system. Nokia already has a sat-nav system called HERE, but would be able to build upon this in the years to come.

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Part of this development would be improving the way that smartphone and tablet apps could be controlled by a touch screen in the dash of the car. This may seem like a distraction, but improving the flow and control of these apps could help stem distracted driving. It will be interesting to see where Nokia goes with this latest effort.

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