HERE Maintains Lead in Map Data Licensing for In-car Navigation

  • Europe’s in-car navigation sales saw a modest growth of 5% YoY in 2022.
  • HERE continued to lead the European built-in car navigation map data licensing market in 2022.
  • Google’s automotive foray challenges the position of players like HERE and TomTom.
  • New players like Mapbox and What3word are bringing unique aspects to in-vehicle navigation.

Beijing, New Delhi, London, San Diego, Buenos Aires, Hong Kong, Seoul – September 1, 2023

European in-car navigation sales saw a modest growth of 5% YoY in 2022, according to the latest research from Counterpoint’s Global Embedded Navigation Sales Tracker. The increasing adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) and advanced driver assistance (ADAS) features is driving the growth of built-in navigation systems in cars. Navigation helps EV drivers plan the optimal route by considering battery range and charging station locations. Besides, navigation helps ensure safety by giving drivers information about the weather, speed limits and traffic conditions.

In terms of sales volume, Germany, the UK and France are the leading countries in built-in car navigation. But in terms of the share of such cars in total car sales, Norway leads, followed by the Netherlands and Germany. Volkswagen Group, Stellantis and Renault-Nissan are the top three automotive groups in terms of built-in car navigation sales. EV players like Tesla, NIO and Xpeng offer navigation on all models.

Commenting on the market dynamics, Research Analyst Mohit Sharma said, “Almost 50% of cars sold in 2022 had built-in navigation. HERE is leading the European market in terms of licensing its map data.”

HERE, with a strong presence in the automotive industry, has a 66% share in Europe’s built-in car navigation map data market. The company licenses its map data to other companies to build applications and services.

HERE offers its navigation services to OEMs like BMW and Mercedes. Chinese brands such as FAW Hongqi and SAIC, which are expanding their sales into Europe, have partnered with HERE for navigation data.

Commenting on HERE’s performance, Vice President Peter Richardson said, “HERE is well-positioned within the automotive sector by working in partnership with automakers to address their technological challenges, like those related to EVs and adoption of autonomous driving. HERE is one of the enablers for automakers in launching new technologies like Level 3 autonomous driving.”

TomTom is in the second position in the European market with a 22.1% share. Last year marked the company’s second pivotal year after 2009, when it decided to sell its navigation services to automakers directly after the decline of its GPS standalone device business. In 2022, the company announced a new map platform besides rebranding itself.

TomTom has long-standing partnerships with Stellantis, Renault and other car manufacturers. The company has also signed a fresh deal with Hyundai Motor Group for licensing its map data and traffic services to all brands of the group, including Genesis for the European market. Another notable win for TomTom is a partnership with the Foxconn-led MIH Consortium to increase its presence in next-generation smart mobility vehicles.

Google’s share in the in-car navigation map data licensing market continues to increase, reaching 7% in 2022. Sharma added, “Google’s entry into in-vehicle navigation services has enlivened the competition in the European market. For years, the market has seen the duopoly of legacy players HERE and TomTom. Google is trying to catch up with traditional navigation providers as it continues to expand its automotive offerings like EV routing and HD maps.”

Further, new players like Mapbox and What3words are bringing unique aspects to in-vehicle navigation.

A chart Showing Europe Built-in Car Navigation & Map Data Licensing Shares By Company 2022

Source: Global In-Car Navigation Tracker, Q1 2021- Q4 2022

Note: The above chart has been updated to represent the competitive landscape of the extent of maps data licensing across several cars in Europe. Going further will we do a comparative analysis of the navigation software and services landscape with tier 1&2 suppliers supplying or integrating the map data with navigation software and services as part of our Global Smart Automotive Maps, Navigation and Services Tracker across geographies.

Commenting on the market forecast, Vice President Neil Shah said, “The in-car navigation market is expected to see a growth of 10%-15% in 2023 as most automakers will look to comply with new ISA regulation while moving towards electrification and more intelligent driving.” He further added, “Maps will play a crucial role in achieving highly automated driving (Level 4-Level 5) and we will see new collaborations flourishing not only between OEMs and map players but also between self-driving chip manufacturers like Qualcomm and map players.”

We will do a separate insight release on navigation software to provide more clarity on the navigation software and services.

The comprehensive and in-depth ‘Global In-Car Navigation Tracker, Q1 2021-Q4 2022 is now available for purchase at

Feel free to reach us at press(at) for questions regarding our latest research and insights.


Counterpoint Technology Market Research is a global research firm specializing in products in the TMT (technology, media and telecom) industry. It services major technology and financial firms with a mix of monthly reports, customized projects and detailed analyses of the mobile and technology markets. Its key analysts are seasoned experts in the high-tech industry.


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Google Puts Auto Expansion in Top Gear

  • Google has been making news in the automotive industry this year. First, with the announcement of HD Maps to support assisted driving and then with a partnership with Mercedes Benz to develop Mercedes-branded navigation.
  • Google’s deal with Mercedes is interesting. Google will be licensing services including YouTube and map data to Mercedes but without the automotive OS, and it will not control the data.
  • Apple sees the growth potential in the auto industry and likely wants a piece of the pie. This is hinted by Apple’s move to introduce next-generation CarPlay, which will deeply integrate with the vehicle to take over interior screens and instrument cluster.

Since the beginning of 2023, Google has been making news in the automotive industry. First, with the announcement of HD Maps to support assisted driving and then with a partnership with Mercedes Benz to develop Mercedes-branded navigation. The nature of this partnership is unfamiliar to Google; the company usually wants to be in control of the data. So, the question is why Google chose to form this uncommon partnership. To answer this, we have to look at Google’s automotive journey.

Google’s entry into automotive industry

Google is ubiquitous in smartphones thanks to the strong Android user base. The company wanted to bring the same Google services experience to the car through in-vehicle infotainment (IVI). Android Auto bridged the gap between smartphones and cars and allowed its customers to use Google-based apps for navigation, entertainment and communication, as well as Google Assistant. Over time, Android Auto started gaining popularity as users liked being able to have a similar experience across their phones and vehicles, and additionally use free services like Google Maps. According to Counterpoint Research estimates, around 90% of car models sold in the US in 2022 support Android Auto.

Source: Counterpoint Analysis

This is a strong performance, but it was not an easy road for Google/Android Auto to get accepted by auto OEMs as data privacy concerns always loom around Google. Companies like Hyundai, Kia, Volkswagen, GM and Honda were early adopters of Android Auto, while others, including BMW, Toyota, Lexus, Jaguar Land Rover and Infiniti, didn’t introduce Android Auto compatibility until 2018-2020 after getting repeated requests from owners. In the US, the Android installed base is slightly close to 50%, whereas in Europe it is over 70% and close to 80% for the global market. Therefore, it is not surprising that most drivers from these brands own phones running on Android.

Source: Counterpoint Analysis

Google’s ambitious plan to capture automotive market

Google set its sights beyond IVI to take on the challenge of autonomous vehicles (AV) and software-defined vehicles (SDV) with the 2016 formation of Waymo, which started as a self-driving research project, and the announcement of Android Automotive OS, an expansion of its Android Auto initiative. Android Automotive OS (AAOS) is an open-source OS, somewhat replicating Google’s smartphone OS strategy. Running directly on in-vehicle hardware (i.e. head unit), it is a highly modular and full-stack open platform and supports apps built for Android as well as those built for Android Auto.

One standout feature is that AAOS has a suite of applications and services called Google Automotive Services (GAS), which is often marketed as Google Built-in by automakers. The GAS suite offers options to carmakers to integrate different services from Google, like Maps, Play Store and Assistant, directly into the vehicle without the need for an Android smartphone. Automakers can obtain GAS through a licensing fee on top of Android Automotive.

Currently, there are around 20 models available with Android Auto. The latest addition to the list is the 2023 Honda Accord. Several other automakers have announced plans to move to AAOS, but not every automaker is interested in GAS. We list below some major automakers and their plans to use Android Auto and Google services.

Volvo and Polestar: Volvo brand Polestar, with its Polestar 2, was the first automaker to adopt Android Automotive with GAS integration. Volvo’s first all-electric XC40 Recharge was also the first car to run on Android Automotive. In 2022, Volvo announced from 2023 onwards would be equipped with Google infotainment.

Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi: In 2018, the alliance announced a partnership with Google to run its infotainment systems on Android Automotive. Renault’s Megane E-Tech was the first car to run on Android OS with GAS. In 2022, the Renault Austral was launched based on Android Automotive. Nissan and Mitsubishi have not announced any plans to launch models based on Google.

General Motors: In 2019, GM announced that its in-vehicle infotainment system would be powered by Android Automotive and feature Google apps and services for vehicles starting 2021. The GMC Hummer EV became the first GM car to be run on Android Automotive with GAS integration. Later, in 2022, mainstream models like the Chevrolet Tahoe, Chevrolet Suburban, Chevrolet Silverado, GMC Sierra and GMC Yukon were launched with Google Built-in.

Stellantis: Before the merger between PSA and FCA, PSA Group announced that Android Automotive would be powering its in-car infotainment system starting from 2023 models. In a different approach, FCA launched the Uconnect 5 based on Android Automotive but without GAS. But after the merger of both brands into Stellantis, the whole group is integrating AAOS for the IVI system.

Ford: Joining its US rival GM, Ford announced a partnership with Google in 2021 to run its SYNC infotainment system, which currently runs on Blackberry QNX OS. Ford plans to integrate GAS into its vehicles from late 2023 onwards.

Honda: The Japanese company was one of the early adopters of Android Automotive OS for the in-car infotainment system with its Honda Connect, based on NVIDIA’s Tegra processor. In 2021, Honda announced the integration of GAS into its vehicles from H2 2022. The 2023 Accord is the first Honda car with Google Built-in services.

BMW: The German brand took a different approach, announcing in 2022 that its new BMW OS 9 would be built on Android Automotive OS. But due to data privacy concerns, it is reluctant to integrate GAS. BMW is also an investor in navigation services provider HERE Technologies.

Lucid: The American company adopted Android Automotive OS for infotainment but did not integrate GAS.

Porsche: The Volkswagen brand was one of the few carmakers that only offered Apple CarPlay but not Android Auto for many years. Porsche released its first car with Android Auto only in 2022. The VW group is facing a lot of criticism due to software issues that are delaying the launch of electric models from its brands Porsche, Audi and Bentley. Hence, Porsche is looking at a strategy shift by taking into account Android Automotive OS and integrating GAS, which will include Google Maps, Google Assistant and Google Play Store, into its IVI.

Google built-in by major automakers

Google’s road ahead

Google’s deal with Mercedes is interesting. Google will be licensing services including YouTube and map data to Mercedes but without the automotive OS, and it will not control the data. This shift in Google’s approach shows that it is willing to change its strategy to build trust with automakers, especially the Germans who are known to be apprehensive about data privacy.

With the major trends of electrification and ADAS/Autonomous Driving (AD), and some of the EV models already equipped with Google Maps, Google has been adding EV-related features such as EV routing and searching for charging stations in in-vehicle Google Maps. Besides, Google has announced HD Map support for Level-2 hands-free driving and Level-3 driving systems. HD Map will roll out first in the Volvo EX90 and Polestar 3.

Google Maps is challenging the territory of established players like HERE and TomTom. We expect Google will further develop its in-vehicle navigation to make EV use easier and support higher levels of automated driving.

Lastly, the next-generation vehicles will be software-defined vehicles. This will allow companies to generate various recurring software revenue streams. As a result, the car software market will grow. Apple sees this growth potential in the auto industry and likely wants a piece of the pie. This is hinted by Apple’s move to introduce next-generation CarPlay, which will deeply integrate with the vehicle to take over interior screens and instrument cluster, and allow users to control climate and radio. So far, 14 automakers have confirmed to integrate new CarPlay, which is set to launch in late 2023. Therefore, in the future, we may see Apple developing complete software that runs on the vehicle without a partner iPhone, similar to Android Automotive. There are reports that indicate Apple is working on its ‘Apple Car’ as several patents related to cars have been filed by the company. This will allow Apple to replicate its strategy of using its software and services to monetize its hardware.

Therefore, in the era of software-defined vehicles, we may see the next round of battle between tech giants Google and Apple, this time for supremacy in the automotive OS, which will be the heart and soul of the car.

Qualcomm Aware: Pivotal SaaS Play to Catalyze the Complex IoT Ecosystem

The entire world is going through digital transformation with connectivity at the center intelligently bridging the edge-cloud gap. The data emanating at the edge, whether it is telemetry data from the sensors or location, has been pivotal in adding intelligence, context, and analytics to the connected asset to enable quick, accurate, informed, and timely decision-making.

If we look at the entire IoT or location value chain, it spans from the endpoint/edge (possibly a device/sensor/gateway) to the network infrastructure, enabling connectivity between the edge and the software or API-driven cloud and analytics platforms. While connectivity is the glue, location also provides important context to the asset and the data emanating from the asset.

WATCH: Qualcomm Aware Platform Explained

Power of connectivity and location

We have extensively researched and talked about the IoT market and the importance of end-to-end control, from chipsets, modules, and devices to connectivity to the platforms, including both IoT and location. The IoT landscape, which has been fragmented, is now undergoing consolidation as there is a significant mismatch between the value being created and captured. However, the success in IoT lies in a player which can be integrated and offer end-to-end capabilities while also remaining open and flexible to work with different partners across the value chain at the same time. This should allow the player to create and capture maximum value opportunities for everyone and accelerate the digital transformation journeys of different companies.

Qualcomm has been the leading and largest “connectivity” chipset provider in the IoT and automotive segments, shipping hundreds of millions of chips every year. While connectivity and IoT are natural to Qualcomm, the San Diego-based systems company has also realized the importance of blending the power of location and connectivity. Therefore, Qualcomm has acquired its long-time partner Skyhook, a Boston-based company that has been a leader in the development of location technologies integrating into the devices, and PoLTE, a Dallas-based company focusing on cellular-based accurate positioning technology for mobile devices to IoT applications such as fleet management and asset tracking. Driving location-based intelligence right from the chipset via APIs reduces a lot of integration-related difficulties for companies trying to connect their assets to the cloud securely and seamlessly.

WATCH: Qualcomm Aware Platform Use Cases Demo

Qualcomm Aware SaaS platform – API-driven chip to cloud connectivity

With its important position in the IoT value chain and leveraging its location and connectivity expertise, Qualcomm recently launched Qualcomm Aware, an API-first platform offering secure and out-of-the-box chip-to-cloud integration. Qualcomm is doing this via an intelligent software on top of the chip to help solution makers optimize, configure, and transmit location and telemetry data from the edge to the cloud simply via APIs integrating with partner solutions.

counterpoint qualcomm aware platfrom solution
Source – Qualcomm

Initial capabilities: Location data, connectivity management, security and more

The Qualcomm Aware solution can be tailored to specific verticals, applications or use cases. It comprises of following capabilities:

• Location data GNSS, cellular, Wi-Fi, hybrid location, geofencing, etc
• Power-optimized, configurable hardware and software components
• Security – edge to cloud, Silicon Root of Trust, provisioning, etc
• Connectivity management – cellular, roaming, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, etc
• Devices – With Qualcomm Aware low-power embedded chipsets

In our opinion, the platform for a particular use case, such as asset tracker, might offer the full solution to start with. But when the need to scale up arises, the platform will have to become more modular so that the end customers or system integrators have more options to choose from. For example, just leverage location APIs or with connectivity management or the off-the-shelf Qualcomm Aware partner devices or not.

Initially targeted use cases: Asset tracking

counterpoint qualcomm aware platfrom use case asset tracking
Source – Qualcomm

Since it blends location and connectivity well, asset tracking is the lowest-hanging opportunity for Qualcomm Aware.

Qualcomm has partnered with Quectel, Ikotek, Thundercomm, and others to build Qualcomm Aware-ready asset trackers to help customers kickstart with the offering as the previous-generation chipset-based devices cannot be upgraded to become Qualcomm Aware compatible. While the solution comes with bundled connectivity (via partner), Qualcomm does not aim to become an MVNO and step on its partners’ toes. For the mapping, routing and location data, Qualcomm is partnering with Mapbox and TomTom in this initial phase. Larger players such as HERE and Google are expected to be on the partnership roadmap eventually.

counterpoint qualcomm aware platfrom asset tracking
Source – Qualcomm

Therefore, transport and logistics is the initial target segment, followed by retail, manufacturing, construction and utilities.

Success will be in partnerships and moving to self-serve model

Qualcomm is thus expanding its capabilities and offerings to become a strong enabler with a platform play in this high-potential, fragmented but consolidating market. The timing of the launch might be questionable for many considering the ongoing consolidation, but we believe this is the best time to enter the market with a unique and highly scalable platform to invigorate this market, especially with a strong position in the edge market.

counterpoint qualcomm aware platfrom partners
Source – Qualcomm

To be successful with a SaaS approach, being open and striking the right partnerships is paramount. It is great to see Qualcomm striking partnerships across the value chain, from module and device manufacturers, software and middleware players, and location and mapping vendors to system integrators and cloud players. Qualcomm will have to invest in and empower dedicated pre-sales, consulting and post-sales teams to make headway into these markets. Moving to a self-serve model would be critical to further scaling the SaaS business.

Key takeaways: Chip-to-cloud partner-driven IoT and location platform approach

• No vendor other than Qualcomm enjoys a strong position when it comes to the edge of the market.
• As intelligence moves to the edge, a secure edge-to-cloud connectivity offering can help simplify integration, portability and provisioning of IoT solutions, catalyzing the IoT ecosystem.
• Qualcomm Aware helps the company broaden its portfolio beyond hardware to a recurring and scalable software/services business, which investors and partners would welcome.
• Further, Qualcomm Aware can help crack the significant but complex and fragmented IoT market to make a play in the $700-billion connected intelligent edge opportunity.
• The platform’s future success will depend on how Qualcomm expands its partner ecosystem across verticals and geographies while also moving to a self-serve model.

Podcast: Leveraging Location Intelligence To Shape IoT and Smart Mobility Experiences

The mapping services have always played a crucial role in delivering area wise geographic information. Over the past two decades, we’ve moved from physical paper maps to digital maps. They are easily accessible at our fingertips. And as we go through this digital transformation, location data is important as a capability that enables different vertical applications. There are several location platforms service providers that offer advanced tools such as offline maps coverage, real-time traffic data, in-app travel planning, POIs, and more.

Counterpoint Research CORE Analysis - Location Platforms Customers & Partners Relationships - Mar 2020

Counterpoint Research recently completed the latest in-depth analysis using its proprietary CORE (COmpetitive Rankings & Evaluation) framework to evaluate the leading 25 maps and location platform players with over 60 capabilities and ecosystem success parameters. The analysis reveals Here as the top global location platform player followed by Google and TomTom.

Counterpoint Research CORE Analysis - Location Platforms Evaluation 2019

In the latest episode of “The Counterpoint Podcast”, host Peter Richardson and VP of Research Neil Shah discuss how location platform players are helping shape the digital transformation. The discussion covers how the companies are moving from being a mapping solution provider to a location intelligence platform provider. We have also touched upon how location intelligence can be helpful in contact tracing in our current battle against COVID-19.

Hit the play button to listen to the podcast

Also available for listening/download on:


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