Here, which drafts digital road maps for the automotive industry, said that it had acquired Germany's Advanced Telematic Systems, whose software stack allows infotainment and advanced driver assisted systems in cars to be updated wirelessly, closing security gaps and making upgrades.
Like other automotive suppliers, Here is targeting ways to update the electronic control units in vehicles, particularly the self-driving cars that could be released in a few years. With the software stack from ATS, the company could simultaneously and securely update all the control units in an entire vehicle and across an entire fleet of vehicles.
Many companies including General Motors plan to start using over-the-air technology for remote updates as cars grow increasingly connected and vulnerable to hackers. With it, Here could also continuously update the digital maps it provides to more than 100 million cars worldwide to give them an almost real-time picture of the road.
“Data and software delivery is a defining factor for future success within the automotive industry,” said Ralf Herrtwich, senior vice president of Here’s automotive business, in a statement. “The acquisition of ATS is a hugely important strategic investment for us to complement our portfolio as a premium automotive cloud provider.”
Going forward, Here will compete with other suppliers like Wind River and Delphi’s Movimiento unit. To stand out, the firm could extol the security virtues of its products. ATS supports its software with Uptane, a framework being developed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to address security concerns with connected cars.
The terms of the acquisition were not disclosed, and the deal should close in the first quarter next year. Here – acquired by Audi, BMW, and Daimler in 2015 – said that it would continue to develop the software for the automotive industry and weigh the possibility of using it to support secure software updates in other devices including drones.