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Nokia Here ousts Google search at Toyota

New cloud-based version of Navteq platform ousts Google Local Search, deal likely to expand into broader services


Published: 31 January, 2013

READ MORE: Nokia | Location

Nokia has gone on the offensive with its crown jewel, its mapping technology, since it relaunched it as a cloud-based, vendor-neutral platform called Nokia Here. It has already taken advantage of Apple's iOS Maps woes and also has signed a string of licensing deals with firms like Amazon. Now it is even ousting Google, which has its own powerful navigation offering, from deals, replacing it in Toyota's in-car systems.

All the web giants are chasing lucrative in-car deals, and a mapping contract can be the first step to providing a wider platform for content and communications. Nokia has several agreements with auto makers - such as Audi, BMW Chrysler, Dacia, ESRI, Ford, Garmin, Hyundai, Kia, Mercedes, Nikon, Pioneer, Scania and Volkswagen -and now adds Toyota in Europe.

The Finnish supplier has replaced Google as the local search and navigation supplier for the Japanese company's Touch & Go system in Europe, from next year. The carmaker will implement Nokia Here Local Search for Automotive in its satnav and infotainment systems. The official announcement does not mention Here's broader mapping and location services but these are likely to join the party, since the partners say they will "collaborate with Nokia to study more services that leverage the Nokia Location Platform, including best-in-class content". Nokia already supplies content to Toyota in the form of auto-grade maps and reference data.

Touch & Go, launched in the Verso DPL vehicle, currently ships with Google Local Search, Maps and Points of Interest. The new version will appear in cars from early next year in Europe including Russia and the Middle East, in selected models of the Yaris, Verso, Auris and Prius vehicles.

"It is an excellent basis for creative location-centric concepts and we are delighted to bring this technology to our customers," said Derek Williams, Toyota Europe's general manager of telematics and multimedia.

Apple may not have a competitive maps offering yet, but it is getting into cars via another route, the Siri voice activated personal assistant. This was optimized for in-car use with the release of Siri Eyes, and Honda announced this week it would include it in some upcoming vehicles.

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