Audi, BMW Group and Daimler say they have reached agreement with Nokia Corporation to acquire its mapping and location services business, HERE.

A Daimler statement noted the acquisition is intended “to secure the long-term availability” of HERE’s products and services as a platform for cloud-based maps and other mobility services.

The three partners will each hold an equal stake in HERE; none of them seeks to acquire a majority interest.

Subject to the approval of the relevant antitrust authorities, the transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2016.

“HERE is laying the foundations for the next generation of mobility and location based services,” noted the Daimler statement. “For the automotive industry this is the basis for new assistance systems and ultimately fully autonomous driving.

“Extremely precise digital maps will be used in combination with real-time vehicle data in order to increase road safety and to facilitate innovative new products and services.

“On the basis of the shared raw data, all automobile manufacturers can offer their customers differentiated and brand-specific services.”