(Bloomberg) -- Uber Technologies has submitted a bid for HERE, Nokia Oyj’s maps business, for as much as $3 billion, the New York Times reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
The Uber offer is competing with planned bid by a group of German automakers, including BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz, which are teaming up with Chinese Internet search engine giant Baidu on the bid, the paper reported.
Finland-based Nokia, a communications-equipment maker, is exploring the sale of HERE as it focuses on boosting growth at its wireless-network unit and improving its debt rating, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg News last month.
The people said Nokia had reached out to potential buyers including Uber, a mobile car-booking application, and private equity firms. Nokia was seeking at least 3 billion euros for the unit.
Access to high-quality maps is essential for carmakers seeking to build autonomous cars, which need detailed location data about their wider surroundings to complement input from on-board sensors to avoid obstacles and other vehicles.
A push by Google, which introduced a fully functioning prototype of a driverless car last year after working on the project for a decade, has put the race to build connected cars into high gear. Mercedes, BMW and Audi all have prototype autonomous cars, as do many other big carmakers.
Reuters contributed to this report