Digital maps capture billions of 3D points to model road surfaces (Photo: Here)

Months after Audi, BMW and Daimler acquired Here from Nokia for 2.5 billion euros, the three carmakers are in talks with Amazon and other companies about a broader ownership structure for the digital mapping company, according to news reports.

The Reuters news agency said the talks focus on Amazon’s ability to provide cloud computing services to Here. The internet group is also interested because high-quality digital maps could be the key to future driverless delivery options for Amazon products ordered on its web sites.

In addition to Amazon, press reports say, Microsoft, Ford Motor, Renault and Continental are also interested in possibly acquiring a Here stake.

The German owners consortium has repeatedly said it wants Here, which is used in more than 80 pc of all embedded automotive telematics and navigations systems, to be an open platform available industry-wide.

They also haven’t ruled out taking on board other shareholders to spread investment costs and assure broad cross-brand acceptance of standardized digital maps and location information.

Digital maps are widely seen as crucial in the development of autonomous driving. If maps are to play a role in the trend, they need to be developed according to a common standard used by all carmakers.