Lost Nokia May Find Itself In Driverless Cars From Tesla, Google, Others

Now that Nokia’s Mobile Devices unit has been assimilated into Microsoft (to the point that Redmond is dropping Nokia’s branding), the company has an identity problem. What is Nokia now? What does it do?

New Nokia CEO Rajeev Suri dropped some clues in Nokia’s Q1 financial report, including that Nokia is a large software company with a strong IP portfolio that includes its HERE Maps and networking technology, but we didn’t have to wait long to get a sense of what that means exactly: Bloomberg reports that Nokia is investing in companies that are working on driverless cars, such as Tesla and Google.

Google driverless car

“We’re seeing innovation that’s happening across the auto ecosystem through the combination of mobility and the Internet,” Paul Asel, a partner at the Nokia venture-capital arm, told the outlet. “The car is really becoming a platform like when the mobile handset became a smartphone and all the apps and services developed around that.”

Asel may well be right about that, and Nokia already has a foot in the car door, so to speak, with its mapping products. In-dash navigation systems are going to be more prominent soon enough, and Nokia is trying to ensure that it’s the technology of choice that most consumers will be using as that happens.