German automakers buying Nokia's HERE map business, say it will lead to autonomous driving

A consortium of German automakers Audi, BMW and Daimler are buying Nokia Corp.'s HERE map business to incorporate into automotive technology and eventually autonomous driving.

Monday's announcement gave no price but previous news reports said it might be worth 2.9 billion euros ($3.2 billion).

Nokia, based in Finland, has refocused its business on producing equipment for wireless networks after selling its mobile phone handset operation to Microsoft Corp.

In a joint statement, the German automakers said HERE is "laying the foundations for the next generation of mobility and location based services."

They said, "For the automotive industry this is the basis for new assistance systems and ultimately fully autonomous driving."