Audi, BMW and Daimler have received regulatory approval to buy the Here digital mapping business from Nokia Maps and said they would run the business "to openly and independently develop the future of digitised driving".

"First-rate maps and a new understanding of location-based services are the foundation for Here to continue on its successful growth course – as an open, independent and value creating company," the automakers said in a jointly issued statement. This is to the benefit of the many hundreds of customers from multiple industries."

The location platform delivers high definition maps combined with real-time location information using mapping technology combined with data sources such as cars, mobile phones, the transport and logistics sector as well as infrastructure elements.

Here currently powers its map with data from more than 80,000 sources and billions of probe points daily and connects to millions of vehicles and their on-board sensors that generate information about the car's surroundings. The more data added to the Here platform, the better its maps, products and services will become, the new owners said.

The independent and open company structure creates new options to accelerate this effort with customers providing the company with huge quantities of anonymised data. The three automakers already habe over 2m connected vehicles on the road and plan to improve their products and develop new services.

Four out of five new vehicles sold in Europe and North America with in-car navigation have use Here maps. In future, maps will give vehicles the ability to effectively 'see around corners', enabling them to anticipate road hazards and prepare and adjust driving strategies accordingly in a way that increases driver trust. 

Here plans to supply more automotive customers and expand its consumer and enterprise businesses – through organic growth, as well as strategic partnerships and acquisitions.

Its supervisory board will consist of representatives of the new owners and independent, recognised industry figures.

The three automakers did not acquire joint control of Here and say there is "a clear separation between their roles as customers, suppliers and investors".

Here will remain open to all customers and be open to other investors to create a broader shareholder structure.