In a likely attempt to beef up its navigation technology, Apple has officially confirmed today its acquisition of high-precision mappings service Coherent Navigation. Based out of the Bay area, Coherent Navigation is a relatively small outfit, though it specializes in high-accuracy GPS system, which deploys the use of existing GPS and merges it with data from Irdium’s low-earth-orbit satellite network. Moreover, the end product, according to major media reports, is said to be as precise as one can imagine.
Apple has given a standard confirmation statement to New York Times, and this is what the tech giant had to say:
“Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans,” the company said in an email.
Founded in the year 2008, Coherent Navigation uses its high-accuracy navigation system for apps using autonomous navigation, robotics and has also worked on programs for the Defense Department.
The Cupertino-based tech giant has acquired a slew of mapping technology based firms in the past few years, including Pin Drop, Embark, Locationary, Hopstop, and Broadmap. As to what the company intends to do with the recent acquisition is still unclear, though it may be a ploy to end its reliance on rival Google. Nearly more than twice as many iOS users still prefer using Google Maps to get directions and lookup for addresses.
Moreover, the fact that competition for location-based mapping technology has gradually been intensifying. Recently, a consortium of German automobile behemoths have been competing with Uber to get their hands on Nokia’s HERE Maps. If Uber can acquire the digital mapping arm of Nokia, it could notably end its reliance on Google, which currently plays a significant role in Uber’s navigation eco-system.
Meanwhile, in February, Uber also announced that it had opened a research facility in Pittsburgh for autonomous car research.