HERE Technologies today announced plans to acquire ATS Advanced Telematic Systems, a Germany-based software company developing highly secure over-the-air (OTA) software updating technology for the automotive industry.

The planned acquisition will strengthen HERE’s position as the world’s leading provider of location data and cloud services for vehicles.

The companies have agreed to keep the terms of the agreement confidential. The transaction is expected to be finalised in the first quarter of 2018, subject to customary closing conditions.

OTA technology is a critical component to leverage the full potential of any connected and autonomous vehicle. ATS specialises in open source and open standards-based OTA technology that allows automakers and the broader industry to deliver data, software and firmware to vehicles in a secure, cost effective, and scalable manner.

ATS’ flagship OTA solution is aligned with Uptane, the OTA security framework initiated and funded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Uptane is the most comprehensive security framework available to defend attacks on updates for connected cars. ATS is also a member of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA), and a key contributor to the development of OTA inside GENIVI and Automotive Grade Linux (AGL).

HERE plans to continue to develop and offer ATS’ OTA technology as a standalone product within its automotive portfolio, while also extending the benefits of the technology to other aspects of its business. In future, the technology could also support secure map and software updates to drones and other connected devices.

With its map data inside more than 100 million cars, HERE is the world’s number one provider of location data for the automotive industry. Increasingly, high-precision location data are being delivered over the air, aiding automation and driving decisions, and supporting increased safety and faster journeys. With the advent of autonomous driving, for example, cars will draw on HD maps that are continuously updating to provide a near real-time picture of the road environment. For this, powerful OTA solutions will be vital.

Ralf Herrtwich, SVP Automotive of HERE Technologies, said: “Data and software delivery is a defining factor for future success within the automotive industry as vehicles are becoming more connected and autonomous. The acquisition of ATS is a hugely important strategic investment for us to complement our portfolio as a premium automotive cloud provider. I’m excited to welcome Armin and his team into the HERE family.”

Armin G. Schmidt, CEO of ATS, said: “This is an exciting opportunity for ATS as we will be able to combine HERE’s deep customer relationships with OEMs and our global client and partner network to deliver new commercial solutions and enhance the existing functionality of HERE products and services. We now look forward to joining a business with an inspirational vision to shape the autonomous world.”