MNB RG: How Nokia Location drives Audi

| July 19, 2012 | 93 Replies

The Q2 2012 report today brought some interesting discussion regarding Nokia’s location platform in our comment sections. Janne has written an excellent article below outlining the the importance of this location platform at Nokia, and in particular it’s role in the automotive industry. We’ve previously heard Ford and Nokia teaming up to bring a smarter driving experience. Here, Janne outlines some exciting advances Nokia could be working on with Audi.


Hidden in Nokia’s Q2 quarterly report was this nugget: “Nokia entered into an agreement with the Audi Urban Intelligence Assist (AUIA) project aimed at developing connected car technologies that help reduce congestion and improve safety supported by the use of NAVTEQ map data.” (NAVTEQ is now Nokia’s Location & Commerce unit.) There was also a mention of “Ford, whose research organization is using the [Nokia Location] platform to advance innovation for smart and connected vehicles.”

Now that Nokia is aiming to become the “Where Company”, with their Nokia Location Platform licensed to Yahoo!, Bing, Flickr, Windows Phone 8 and every four out of five automotive makers with in-dash navigation systems, how does this Location Platform actually manifest itself? Stephen Elop was recently quoted as saying mapping is step 1, navigation is step 2 – and Nokia is working on steps 3, 4 and 5 to transform the world of location-based services.

Location, location, location. Indeed, this is why Nokia did not go Android – Google is their worst competitor in location and Microsoft was willing to license Nokia’s Location Plaform for Windows Phone. It sealed the deal, says Nokia.

But back to Nokia and cars. What does it mean that Nokia has partnered with Audi on their Audi Urban Intelligence Assist project? I’ll link to some hits to that shortly. Because lest anyone think this is only just some pipedream years into the future, I think it is important to highlight what the practical applications having location-based services can have already today. Obviously Audi users Nokia’s maps on all its in-dash navigators (it also superimposes them on Google Earth imagery on some models, an interesting hybrid of the competitors), but it goes well beyond that.

The now

Starting in late 2009, early 2010, Audi connected Nokia’s location data into its actual automotive systems starting with the high-end models (first the new A8 and then A7 and the A6, etc. depending on equipment levels). By knowing where the car is and what kind of road it is driving on, the car actually adjusts various drive systems. One example is the speed assist, that uses Nokia’s location data on speed limits and compares them with camera data from actual traffic signs, as well as actual driving speed, to inform the driver of the current speed limits and can highlight temporary speed limits.


The second example is Audi’s adaptive lighting. By using Nokia’s location data, the car adjusts its lighting patterns depeding on the location. For example, the car is able to adjust to extended highway lighting range while still on the ramp towards the highway, because it knows where it is heading and speed alone could not provide this information. Before entering an intersection, the system is also able to turn on cornering lights for wider-angle illumination, even when the driver has not yet turned the wheel or turned on the signal. These would not be possible without the car knowing where it is and where it is going.

Third example extends to actual driving, through the adaptive cruise-control and various radar systems on board. When using the adaptive cruise control to match the speed of the car in front, Audi uses Nokia’s location data to detect cars leaving the highway. If the car ahead puts on the turn signal and slows down near a highway exit, the Audi will not slow down with the exiting car, but will instead know the slowdown is only temporary (of course if the car does not exit or is getting too close, this will be overridden). Location data also means the cruise-control can follow the car in front even in curves, which a traditional adaptive cruise-control could not do.

As fourth example, Nokia’s location data controls the Audi’s automatic gearbox. On curving country roads the gearbox does not unnecessarily upshift on short straight stretches, because the car knows where it is driving.

The future

All that in Audi’s shipping today (and that’s not even all there is), thanks to Nokia’s location data. But what about the future of Nokia location at Audi? Audi Urban Intelligence Assist is a project that involves various university research and commercial partners, aimed at generating connected car technologies that reduce congestion, improve safety and make urban driving less stressful. Audi has a vision of a future involving connected intelligent vehicles that interact with their environment and with each other, to make urban mobility more efficient, more convenient, less stressful, and safer.

Here are some highlights:

– “This data will include local vehicle and pedestrian information from onboard vehicle sensors for local awareness, as well as aggregated traffic and traffic controlling information (i.e. traffic lights, etc.), parking availability, urban events (sports events, concerts, accidents, etc.) among other, in order to get an up to the minute snapshot of the city, but also to make predictions on what the city environment is going to look like in the near future (15 to 60 minutes from now).”

– “Understanding the driver and his/her preferences, to tailor the urban driving experience to fit the personal needs of each Audi customer. The major research questions are to determine what aspects of urban mobility distract and stress individual drivers, and what kind of metrics can be used for those, in order to support and assist each user appropriately to make urban commute more enjoyable, efficient, safer, and smarter.”

– “Use urban information collected from multiple on and off board sources to predict how the city flows through the day, and use this in combination to the driver diagnostic information to generate the most comfortable and efficient route for each driver, and to give recommendations about route planning and execution tailor made to each user to make each trip a smart stress-free one.”

A little more on the AUIA here:

This is just (a part of) the automotive story. Location-based services are invading all aspects of the mobile life, including advertising. What’s next? Or is it: Where’s next?


Category: Nokia

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  • jeroenhuismast

    Janne is biggest Wp7 apologizer on this forum
    so why would i take him serious ?

    • Jay Montano

      Address the content of Janne’s writing not the character of the person. Otherwise, feel free to leave your comment on another blog.

      • p

        Jay I think should there be any bias or prejudice on behalf of Janne that other readers have noticed, then I believe they should have the right to comment up on it. After all you always preach that this is an informal blog.

        Regarding the article, well it makes me excited that atleast Nokia is not putting all its eggs into one basket, and is focusing on other strategies to make it be a pioneer it once was. I just want Nokia to do well again. Looking forward to WP pureview and the next big thing OS by nokia, which will have its own ecosystem with official apps for every country.

        But where the hell is the advertising and marketing for Nokia handheld devices and its world class nokia map solutions? Also there is no mention of 808 anywhere. Why? Head over to dpreview forums, and professional photographers talk about the nokia 808 there. How often has that happened with other smartphones? We (Nokia) need to market and advertise and be in the publics face non stop. Do you think that should apple make an iphone or samsung make a galaxy smartphone with the ability of 808, they would not advertise it? Hell no. Advertise non stop please.

        Rant over!

        • p

          TYPO:”…the next big thing OS by nokia, which SHOULD have its own ecosystem with official apps for every country…”

        • loci


          The way I see it is, if Janne/Jay/whoever was posting WP7-related topics only, it would be ok to comment on that fact (and that fact alone). But calling someone an apologist/evangelist/… clearly goes beyond that.

          Also, I’d say that “informal” does not mean “no rules at all”, and actually I’d always thought “informal” here means sth. like “not overseen by professional Nokia PR people”.


          And, as a comment to the content of this post: This post is about one of Nokia’s new pillars in the market. The fact that the location strategy favoured choosing WP over Android was merely a(n interesting) side note.

          • Janne

            I agree that antagonistic comments and calling people by names such as apologist or whatever, should indeed be stopped – be they from any direction. Jay asked us to stop them recently and I think re-asking and enforcing by censoring where necessary is the way to go.

            There should be no need to insult anyone or make unfounded, broad-brushing swipes at people. It is hardly ever true either. I’m no WP (any version) apologist for example, yet feeling the need to defend myself against such comments could derail any thread.

            So, better to stick to the topic and make constructive comments (agreeing or disagreeing of course), I think.

            • jiipee

              I’ll be watching you 😉

            • Svenkka


        • knowfirst

          advertising will drain the remaining money they have, so we can see everything u r saying on wp8

        • Jay Montano

          Jay I think should there be any bias or prejudice on behalf of Janne that other readers have noticed, then I believe they should have the right to comment up on it. After all you always preach that this is an informal blog.

          Being an informal blog refers to the writer’s content and the structure of the blog in general.

          Being informal does NOT mean people can be rude or disruptive in comments.

          Please see this:

          We are very relaxed regarding the comment section. I mainly ask people to be polite and be on topic. The first comment in question does not discuss Janne’s topic and I doubt they actually even read this post before whinging.


          Regarding marketing – I think the people who understood how to market at Nokia left a decade ago.

    • Janne

      If you must, feel free to ignore me taking Nokia’s word for the location strategy being an important part in choosing Windows Phone. The rest of the story, I think, has nothing to do with Windows Phone and was partially in-place already during the OPK era.


      what about all the symbian/meego apologisers on this blog ?

      • jiipee

        Please, come on. If you have some content or valid arguments you want to share please do so. You are yourself constantly pouring more gas to flames.

    • Svenkka

      Because he knows a huge load more about things than you.

      • James

        I’d say there’s quite a few people out there that know bucket-loads more, but simply couldn’t give shit about writing the small novellas he regularly does @MNB.

  • Janne

    BTW: I think it is important to note, becoming a location player was not Elop’s idea. As the dates show, Nokia with NAVTEQ was well on that route already during the days of the Qt strategy and OPK era – so credit where credit is due.

    However, the new Nokia strategy did bring in the somewhat external NAVTEQ into Nokia Location & Commerce and started the transition away from the NAVTEQ brand and brought it under the Nokia brand. I think there has been an elevation and focusing of the location strategy during Elop’s tenure.

    So, just to put those into perspective.

    • loci

      Thanks for pointing that out.

      I believe the location business has a lot of potential (unless Nokia destroys their own ideas themselves again…), so I’d be curious to hear more about it in future posts. Thanks for this one, Janne!

      Also, I like the wording with the “where” company, because it creates a simple but easy-to-remember association with the Nokia brand, and aligns it well with its competitors. A nifty move, I daresay!

    • Titanium

      Indeed, the concept of the where platform was there prior to Elop, although blurred as the other concept of OPK era.

      Qt is strong on the automotive market. MeeGo was meant from the beginning as a platform for many kind of devices, not only mobile but in fact also TV, handheld, car navigation etc…

      This article is another proof of the so called “conspiracy theory” or if you prefer MS business practice: MS dictated to Nokia to kill MeeGo to facilitate his entrance on those new markets (or ecosystems)

      With the commoditization of PCs MS needs to move its monopolism elsewhere: consoles, mobiles, navigation, TV etc…
      And the strategy is clear: build its own multisegment OS and kill the competitors.

      It is the “killing the competitors” part that generate so much hate versus MS.

      Hope you all understand it.

      Mobile operators have understood it and like Tomi Ahonen say (although with its biased tone) they are against MS (otherwise how do you explain the miserable market penetration of the Lumia in the US?)

      I don’t know which software platform AUDI use in is cars, but I don’t expect it is WP8.

      I personally hope that Nokia, at least for the other market than mobile is open to other platforms, especially Qt that is a more powerfull solution for European Companies

      • Janne

        Audi has used QNX, so I expect there to be Qt in there as well. Nokia’s co-operation with the German car-makers goes years back into the NAVTEQ days (and I agree there were MeeGo efforts on-going). Ford I think is in bed with Microsoft, so Nokia making headway there might be related to Microsoft.

        As for your conspiracy theories, I’m just not personally buying the “Microsoft directing” idea – but it’s outside the scope of this thread anyway. I think Nokia has a plan to sell their improving and increasing location platform to all kinds of players, not just those who use Microsoft platforms.

        • Titanium

          The conspiracy theory has its root in the well know MS business practices already pointed out several time by many, for example asymco.

          Some inside Nokia has killed MeeGo. Publicly it was Elop, by is own idea or because orederd by MS I don’t know, but the suspect is that directly or indirectly MS had a role.

          You’re free to buy it or no, but the evidence is there.

          • Ebon & Unicorn N9s

            Some here wouldn’t accept this theory no matter what. MS’s history is full of such stories and it is called the Evil Empire for a reason.

            • Janne

              I can and do accept a theory, but I don’t see it likely nor anywhere near proven. The history of MS is well know, but also fraught with plenty of myth-making in recent years. As is the Nokia situation.

        • exsanguine

          It matters not what system/OS the car makers utilize as the maps from Nokia (NAVTEQ Brand) are given to them in a raw format that can be compiled and utilized in anyway the makers see fit.

          MS/Qt/Meego has nothing to do with how the purchasers of the map data use the data itself.

    • jiipee

      Just as Ive been pointing out already for a long time.

      Im not that interested in the Where strategy so Im not going to dig out the old stuff and plans on Navteq (eg. what was the status of Meego regarding IVI). It will be interesting what they will do with Qt, since to my knowledge, it is the primary dev platform. If Nokia get their act together, this can be a good business for them. It means that they become a sub-brand that is not so interesting to end-users. Similar to Carl Zeiss.

      • Janne

        Just as Ive been pointing out already for a long time.

        I’ve always agreed with you on that. It was evident at Nokia Worlds before Elop. Nokia has been a terrible communicator about these things, though.

        It means that they become a sub-brand that is not so interesting to end-users. Similar to Carl Zeiss.

        Not necessarily, though. If they can make Nokia Maps a consumer brand, it might resonate with end-users too. That, in addition to Nokia obviously working to reclaim a good position within smartphones.

        They can do both, you know. (If they can execute like perfect, which Nokia has very little track-record of doing.) Like Google does. It is just that choosing Android for the smartphone play would have *arguably* hurt the Nokia Maps play.

        They are trying to have both.


    a very insightful article.

    • SLAYER

      Janne, you are posting here all the time, you might as well start writing for MNB officially.

      • Beelzebozo

        No please no. What we need is an old school Nokia supporter, like Incognito, not a Elop/WP/MS apologist like Janne.

        • loci

          Someone to write about rubber boots? 🙂

          • loci

            no insult meant to incognito!

            I shouldn’t answer these kind of comments…I promised…

        • viktor von d.

          Janne is an oldschool Nokia suporter. You don’t like him cause he isn’t a symbian suporter ANYMORE.
          There seems to be a few categories a people on this site
          -the ones who love symbian and didn’t want it gone
          -the ones who love open-source platforms and hate everything proprietary like wp
          -the ones who like wp
          -the ones who love nokia in general and just want to see it stay relevant in the next decade no matter what happened in the past or what platform it uses

          Janne falls in the last category and he is bullied everyday for his opinions. I agree that he should start writing articles on this site, along with Incognito. Both have different views, but are more mature then the rest of the people who comment and both are actualy using facts and data when they speak, not just rumours and personal beliefs declared as the truth. This article was the perfect example on how Janne used arguments, took the time to research and read the q2 results and provide an informed opinion. Unlike you Beelzebozo who just posts the same conspiracy shit, anti-elop propaganda of Tomi ”1fact5rumours2lies” Ahonen.

          If you can’t stand freedom of speech and different opinions, join a fascist party. They apreciate people who counter different opinions with personal attacks and bullying

          • arts


          • loci


          • flava

            Can’t agree more!


            well said

          • Svenkka

            +1 well said

        • knowfirst

          boy o boy, this blog is for nokia fans… not for u dumdiots

        • Janne

          Thanks guys for the support. 🙂

          But as for any concerns from Beelzebozo or the like, I’ve said I have no desire at the moment for any administrative privileges. I am just fine by being only one of the guys here and contributing only through the same means available to any reader. I don’t need or want to make my voice any bigger than anyone elses.

          I may be loud, but I ain’t on any missions here. Just trying to enjoy the stream of Nokia news/hobby with the rest of us and make what I can of it to the best of my understanding.

  • twig

    So Nokia Drive or Navteq in the future could show advertising on a trip that shows pictures of hotels in the area and dials the number for those of us who don’t plan ahead. Location. Cool.

    • loci

      I’d love that! Planning ahead is so…not me 🙂 But then again, unfortunately I don’t own one of these Audis…. 🙁

      • twig

        I don’t either but they are nice to look at. What I really like are the old cars that are the oddest looking. Something with ..get you there if you’re lucky written on it and made with steel.

        • loci

          The only car I’ve ever owned (at that wasn’t even a year) was just some kind of metal box on wheels – I loved it 😉

  • nn

    We discussed this on other thread, so just to repeat my arguments:

    There is again the overt attempt to associate these license deals with the false choice between MS/WP and maps hating Google/Android. So to make it clear, Navteq was licensing map data long before the Elop’s deal and using WP has nothing to do with it, even the licensing of Navteq maps to Bing was signed in 2009. They could continue to make the same deals with Android or MeeGo and if anything, the closed nature of WP and its minuscule market share will make things worse.

    The bulk of possible revenues is in handsets. Not in cars, not in licenses to flicker, but in handsets. There are going to be billions of units sold per year and only in handset you will have routinely used device with broad ecosystem of apps and services which can be easily combined and generate revenue with things like ads.

    By locking Nokia to WP with just few percent share, Elop effectively deprived Nokia of all these possible revenues. So only thing that’s left are the same type of deals Navteq is making for years without much success.

    When it comes to specific technologies, I think in lots of cases there is real danger Nokia’s solution will turn out to be not so good. For example instead of relying on maps full of inevitable errors to determine top speed or intersection, it’s better to have sensors that can watch the surrounding environment in real-time and are able automatically guess these things.

    Or instead of attempts to crudely link databases from different cities and different state agencies (and they first have to make big investments to create these), you can just use the fact that half of the population has your phone in pocket all the time (not going to happen with WP, of course) and infer current traffic just from their positions and movements.

    I think it will take something like 10 or 20 years before there is significant share of cars with these sort of capabilities and supporting infrastructure. Enough time to make these alternative (and ultimately better) solutions work.

    Without revenues to fund new innovations and without userbase they can harness, Nokia has not much chance in locations.

    • viktor von d.

      You missed the part where it says this tehnology is being used today. And the numbers will grow as more and more cheap cars get navigation in the standard package.
      And ffs people would really have wanted Nokia to go with android? one platform to rule all the smartphones in the world? i’m glad they decided to take a different route and provide at least some choice.i don’t know if they will succeed at the end, but f***** android. i hope rim will make it, i hope jolla will have some great meego devices, i hope tizen will mature and i hope wp will gain marketshare and provide a complete ecosystem and i want nokia to have the largest slice of that pie

      • nn

        You missed the part about “significant share of cars”. Even with already commercialized technologies, it will takes years before they trickle down into cheaper cars and then it will take another years before the replacement cycle pours non-trivial number of them onto streets.

        I would not liked Android either (albeit it would be orders of magnitude better than WP and they would have chance to survive as independent entity). I was just pointing out that the choice of WP as smartphone OS has nothing to do with Audi using Nokia’s maps in their cars. Or at least not in positive way.

    • viipottaja

      as you pointed out yourself, Nothing is preventing Nokia to continue selling their mapping and location solutions to other platforms as well (and, iirc, they are already doing it with BB). MS has no exclusivity to nokias mapping. And Nokia is not locked to using just WP.

      • nn

        Yeah, they can continue to do these license deals as they did before, with one little exception – smartphones. Unfortunately smartphone is where almost all of the opportunities in locations are. When Elop sentenced Nokia to use WP and only WP, he abandoned something like 95 % of that market.

        Even if you don’t agree with it, I think it’s not that hard to understand the argument, right?

        • Zipa

          I’m pretty damn sure that Symbian didn’t have 95% of the smart phone market in early 2011…

          And once again, Nokia’s Location Platform is not WP-only. It works on all current (major) smart phone platforms.

        • Viipottaja

          I don’t understand why they couldn’t strike licensing deals with other smartphone platforms??? Please explain. 🙂 Sure, they won’t with Android or Apple, but they already have with BB and they could, at least in principle, do so with say with e.g. Jolla or Mozilla on theirs. Nokia is not obliged to only provide it to the WP platform.

          • nn

            You should ask Elop or Janne or someone else about this, but as the theory goes only MS was willing to grant Nokia crucial rights or something so only with them the maps can works, and thus WP was the only logical option.

            I don’t know what the contract says about maps exclusivity on smartphones (WP is primary map smartphone platform?), but I doubt Elop will license maps to WP competitors when he is fighting his ecosystem wars.

            • Viipottaja

              So how and why are they continuing to license to BB and have said Nokia branding will be more prominent there too going forward? Why the Android and iOS versions of Nokia Maps? Why all the talk to investors on the location strategy if it was just all BS and lies (for which, btw, under market laws they could get into serious kimchi if found to have mislead investors)

              It is likely correct that between Google and MS, only MS was willing to agree to build all of its location solutions on Nokia Where Platform and allow Nokia to integrate its maps deeply into the OS (the extent of this should be clearer in WP8 and also whether it is just on Lumias or other WPs as well), including on Bing (of which we have already seen the traffic data being introduced). Pretty sure Google would not have agreed to do that.

              • nn

                All the talk about locations is just marketing bullshit about bright future possibilities. But unless you can prove they know they are lying, it is regarded as mistake when it “unexpectedly” doesn’t pan out.

                Either Nokia can successfully build their locations business on other ecosystems, even the ones for which they don’t have own phones, and then the map argument for WP is a lie.

                Or they can’t do that without deep integration and special agreement with the platform owner, and then the fact I can use Nokia’s map in browser or separate app is irrelevant.

    • nn

      overt -> covert

  • Janne

    Let’s not make this thread about me, guys. 🙂 But yes, those who labelled me as an oldschool Nokia fan got to the closest – that’s me. Been through Nokia’s rise and fall and plan on being there until the raise again or get acquired, whichever comes first.

    Some comments to put the discussion into perspective:

    – This has nothing to do with Windows Phone, but with Nokia selling their location platform to as many global players as possible. Clearly Google is their main competitor in this area – and Google controls the Android ecosystem, including location. Unless Nokia went “Amazon” and tried to create an alternative location ecosystem within Android ecosystem, they couldn’t do all such stuff on Android.

    – I do agree that so far such technologies have been in the domain of higher-end cars. However, that is rapidly changing both in Asian and German manufactured vehicles – and I guess Ford is spearheading the change over in America. I’d say within five to ten years we’ll widely see similar stuff (and more) in regular cars. For example the speed assist I mentioned is already available in the new Volkswagen Passat with factory navigators.

    – This is just ONE perspective on location-based services. Nokia clearly has others. In-door navigation (with non-GPS in-door positioning technologies), location-based advertising and augmented reality, location-based apps, and who knows what, there are many things they are working on and the bet is that together all these will form a significant revenue stream in the future.

    – I agree Nokia should advertise or market this more. I too hate to have to dig into the stuff to get a good understanding of it. Nokia really needs better corporate communication to the outside world.

    • dontom

      Thank You Janne, it was a great article!
      One thing that nobody is talking about is the ‘Mirror-link’ project. Nokia was the biggest part of it and it seemed that most of the car makers were involved. It does still exist, doesn’t it?
      I know it is not only about location, but that is obviously big part of it…

      I haven’t updated myself on that lately, but I think it is an interesting concept because no matter what ecosystem you are on (Android/Symbian/WP(?)) you could show certain functions like mapping, music etc from you smartphone on the in-car screen.

      That is a great solution to cheper cars, where they don’t have to integrate a (probably) expencive in-dash system, just to include the ‘mirror-link’ standard?

      • Janne

        Yeah, the MirrorLink thingy was demonstrated at Nokia World. Looked pretty cool. And they did release a version of it to the market some time ago with some third party systems I believe.

        I’m not sure about its current status or relation to Nokia’s location efforts, though.

        • dontom

          I found this that is fairly fresh. Apparantly it will be ‘ready’ in october and you will find it in many cars from 2014 and onwards… time will tell

          • Janne

            Thanks. So, we can expect MirrorLink to make a major showing in the future. Nice.

  • Honestly

    Wow, The whole ”the now” part is utterly bs, except for the first paragraph.

    Second part, adjustive lighting based on location? That’s bs. Nowadays a lot of cars know when it’s raining or misty so they activate the lights automaticly. With some cars like Volvo’s daylights are always on (can’t even turn them off).

    The whole part of highway light is just made up. There’s no different lighting for highways are you kidding me? Citylights, dimlights and mistlights. There you have it. All the sorts of lights in a car.

    Third part about adaptive cruisecontrol. Have you ever used cruisecontrol in a car? It doesn’t slow down if the car in front of you is driving.
    Following the car in curves is a now adaptive cruisecontrol? Sounds more like the future to me. And also unrealistic seeing as mapchanges are updated very slowly in Nokia maps (if at all).

    The whole now sounds like there isn’t even a driver in the car seat. The car is driving itself based on ”locationdata”.

    Good luck with the ”now”.

    • Janne


      I don’t know where to start. Everything I listed as Audi having is true. Today. So, let my try to explain a bit more:

      Second part, adjustive lighting based on location? That’s bs. Nowadays a lot of cars know when it’s raining or misty so they activate the lights automaticly. With some cars like Volvo’s daylights are always on (can’t even turn them off).

      That is of course true, that many cars have features like you list. However, Audi has more in their high-end, high-specced models.

      The whole part of highway light is just made up. There’s no different lighting for highways are you kidding me? Citylights, dimlights and mistlights. There you have it. All the sorts of lights in a car.

      Have you seen the kinds of lights Audi puts in their high-end cars these days? Here is one picture, and many of these areas are even adjustable through swiveling lights and/or multi-LED patterns:

      Third part about adaptive cruisecontrol. Have you ever used cruisecontrol in a car? It doesn’t slow down if the car in front of you is driving.

      That is the difference between regular cruise-control and adaptive cruise-control. Adaptive adapts to the car in front of you using radar. Adaptive cruise is old technology by now, almost a decade on the market – it is now getting smarter.

      Following the car in curves is a now adaptive cruisecontrol? Sounds more like the future to me. And also unrealistic seeing as mapchanges are updated very slowly in Nokia maps (if at all).

      Audi and many manufacturers actually now have automated lane control assists too to steer the car in case driver fails to do so, that is another use-case, but that is not what I’m talking about here. Traditionally an adaptive cruise control follows the car directly in front using a radar sensor in the front of the car. If the lane curves a lot, the radar may loose the ability to differentiate between lanes because the car in front is now actually on the side because the road is curving. However, with location data, the car can judge both radar inputs, map inputs and steering inputs (and possibly camera inputs) to determine which car in the radar view is actually in front on the same lane, even in curves.

      The whole now sounds like there isn’t even a driver in the car seat. The car is driving itself based on ”locationdata”.

      Actually all these systems are quite invisible to the driver, I have driven a car with these. The driver still drives the car, but it just gets more comfortable and more assisted. And this is just Audi, I’m confident many of the other manufacturers (4 out of 5 use Nokia location data) have similar systems either in the works or already on the market.

    • Zipa

      Wow, have you ever driven a car newer than from the 1980’s? Adaptive cruise control (i.e. following the car ahead of you at a set distance, matching your speed with his) has been around since the 1990’s.

      As for the light patterns, again, wtf dude? ILS has been around since mid 2000’s, providing the following standard light patterns:

      Country mode
      Motorway mode
      Enhanced fog lamps
      Active light function
      Cornering light function

      Then you have your adaptive beam lights, glare-free high beams, pixel light and whatnot that’s been introduced in this decade.

      The “now” that you describe sounds like something from 20 years ago or so…

    • exsanguine

      Wow. So much ignorance in one little post.

      Adaptive CC: Been around since the 1990’s. Now being ulta-enhanced by accurate map data.

      Enhanced lighting: Beyond the adjustments to brightness, the real benefit comes from the embedded map data in the computer that swivels the lights when you are going around curves so that the light beams remain on area where you are going to be driving. This has been around since BMW integrated it in their higher end models, using NAVTEQ data, back in 2007.

      Updates to Nokia Maps: Currently they are able to compile, tile and deploy new map data in 6 months. They are working to achieve a 1 month deploy. It used to be 1 year for most providers (bing, yahoo, mapquest, etc). Car makers take map shipments are varying intervals also. Honda was 1 year, where BMW was 6 months deliveries. So do not blame Nokia for stale map data since they have releases every quarter, mmmkay.

  • yesir

    I seriously doubt that location service platform will become a multi-billion business any time soon. Sure, the total value added services on top of the platform might be.. but just providing basically tagged maps.. nah .. that’s not multi-billion. Nokia would be foolish to hedge its bet entirely on location.

    • Janne

      I seriously doubt Nokia is leaving their location game at “tagged maps”.

    • Zipa

      It already is a billion+ EUR business, check your “predictions”…

    • Viipottaja

      They are not hedging their bet _entirely_ on location. 🙂 Location is a key part of their strategy, yes, but not the only key part.

  • stylinred

    I wonder how the worlds military is tied into this they have to be if nokia is/going to lead the “where”

    • Zipa

      I’m pretty sure that the world’s military intelligence have more location data on their files than Nokia, Google, Tom Tom and the rest combined times a hundred, so they probably couldn’t care less.

      • arts

        i remember reading somewhere that spy satellites can zoom to see what a man is reading on a bench in a park.

        i think militaries dont need nokia to do their work for them.

        • toermel

          There are some laws which forbid spy satellites with such zooming capabilities… laws of nature!

      • stylinred

        hm but historically the worlds military has always gotten involved in corporations in which they can easily use

        the point is if Nokias “where” is linked worldwide like a giant ecosystem you can guarantee the world powers would want to become involved and support this ecosystem and thus launch their system to higher heights

        like facebook

  • kan

    Can you spin this. Seems like Elop is spinning another web with his “where” strategy. Cold hard numbers show it’s not working.

    Q2 sales location and commerce
    €283m, losses €95m

    • Viipottaja

      Operating profit: Eur 41m (non-IFRS)

      • Kan

        Tell me which accounting standards Nokia will follow.

        So again spin it.

        • Viipottaja

          No spin, just a note on the number that many analysts seem to think is the best indicator of underlying performance “cleaned of” extra-ordinary events and accounting “distortions”. Not saying at all that the location division is doing that great, at least not yet. Hopefully the MS, Yahoo, Flickr!, BB, automobile deals will keep it moving in the right direction though.

          • Janne

            Hey, following IFRS type of reporting Microsoft just made its first ever quarterly LOSS. In actual fact, they made 6.9 *billion* of profit. So, the little difference between loss of hundreds of millions or profits on seven billion. Yeah, what’s the difference there…

            Yes, the IFRS profits/losses are one the most misleading things in existence. Any non-accounting characters should ALWAYS ignore them, lest reporting like Microsoft’s “loss” yesterday happen again. The non-IFRS do not tell all either (you can make a non-IFRS loss and still gain money), but they are far less prone to distractions.

  • kan

    This location strategy is all smoke and mirrors. As pointed out by nn. The money is in selling handsets not licensing deals.

    TomTom supplies the mapping data for ios6. Apple will likely sell about 100m iphones in the coming 12 months. That is more than all the cars, wp handsets combined and then some. Yet TomTom market cap is circa €600-700m.

    Mapping and location is not the panacea Elop is making it out it is. I can’t believe people are falling for this.

    Nokia needs to sell handsets and preferavly high end ones and in huge amounts – nothing else will save them. Location is another desperate attempt to divert from the realitis of Nokia predicament.

    • Janne

      kan: You think small. I’m not saying Nokia will win big on the location bet, but they might. You are still thinking only in terms of mapping and navigation – and are missing the Commerce part in Nokia’s Location & Commerce unit. If location-based services and advertising really take off, there is potentially very large additional revenue streams in play – in addition to any basic licensing stuff done now. And even that licensing might grow significantly as more things become location aware.

      Nokia has three business ares: Devices & Services, Location & Commerce and Networks. They might sell the last one at some point, but they are betting heavily on both the first two ones. They are not trying to just be a location player, but a location player and a mobile phone player. They will get back to attacking the high-end of mobile phones once WP8 hits. So, they will do both, phones and location, and perhaps they’ll keep the networks around too depending.

  • gordonH

    There was money in QT, in Meego, in Symbian, in Maps, in Location, in Hardware.
    Guess which of Nokia’s technology gets to moving and which technology gets stabbed or strangled. Nokia can only move forward their own technology when it’s not competing with an MS product.

  • gordonH

    A Quote from an Ex-Nokia

    In your speculation and the following, there are several issues need to be corrected.

    > Symbian Belle
    It’s feature complete around Feb.11th, but the bug fixing speed was significantly and immediately affected by Elop’s strategy, while most Symbian gurus were looking for their own future at that period.

    > MeeGo
    There was two major changes around Sep. 2010. First, it’s decided to use QML instead of WRT; second, the new UI as we saw now was introduced. The result was a re-write of the application layer, and that’s done in 6 months.

    Do you really think Elop could kill something new when he just joined?

    And the partnership with Intel really took a great effort away from the develop team.

    Also, it was decided long ago PR1.3 was the LAST update for N9. No 1.4 was ever planned.

    > Meltemi
    The research began long before Elop joined, but the product plan was decided somewhere in the 1st half of 2011 after Feb.11th.

    However, it was the project that was planned and executed in the worst possible way I know:
    1. Use some chip that is still under development. The release of the chip by the partner was delayed time and time again, with a great effort from Nokia developers to fix various issues.

    2. Redo the base layer, by a team with no or very limited Linux experience. Most of the Linux gurus in Nokia were located in Finland, but the base layer is done in Ulm. Though they are really good developers, lacking of experience was really bad.

    3. The central part of the whole software system was just a research prototype from some research center. The idea was really good, but, hey, how could you ever decide to use such a prototype as the core of the software stack?

    4. Changing of design all the time, and we, developers, used a long time to convince our designers to follow what N9 already provided.

    5. Kill the project when it’s almost ready. Yes, the product is in a really good shape in May.

    One more thing, after Meltemi axed, we all got the order to delete all the source code related to Meltemi, with some reason that nobody trusted. So, let’s all speculate the reason.

    > Windows Phone
    I read just now that the WP8 was started before WP7 got released, meaning Elop knew already before he joined Nokia that you can NOT upgrade WP7 phone to WP8. I’m just curious if he told that honestly to the board, and what’s the reaction of the board if Elop told the truth.

    • James

      “Also, it was decided long ago PR1.3 was the LAST update for N9. No 1.4 was ever planned.”

      PROOF for this???
      I’ve seen so many conflicting (supposed) sources for this it’s not funny.
      I’ve not yet seen any truly conclusive evidence that 1.4 “definitely” isn’t coming.
      Sure the team has shrunk even more recently, but that was always on the schedule.
      Last I checked with folks formerly in the team that still have connections, there was still a sizable % of the original team left.
      But that was about 3-mths ago now, yet to ask what the current % is like.

      • gordonH

        Thks for the updated info.

        • James


          Right, but you were claiming that 1.4 isn’t coming “period”.
          What is your definitive source/proof for that?


          • James

            Sorry I meant your reference was claiming that, what was their definitive source/proof?

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