ZF acquires German R&D firm to consolidate expertise in semi-autonomous driving

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 29 Jun 2015


ZF Friedrichshafen AG is consolidating its expertise in the future-oriented field of semi-autonomous driving. On July 1, 2015, ZF will acquire a development department with approximately 50 employees of HDLE GmbH located in Amtzell, Baden-Württemberg. The acquisition provides ZF with additional technology expertise for driver assistance systems.

The software development team taken over from HDLE will be integrated into ZF's Corporate Research and Development (R&D). In addition to the team of developers, the technology company took over several test vehicles and the development results.

"The new employees have a great deal of expertise and experience from projects for several passenger car and commercial vehicle customers," says Dr. Stefan Sommer, ZF's CEO who is also responsible for R&D. "They are scarce on the market and perfectly complement our software development team at our Corporate Headquarters in Friedrichshafen."

Among other things, ZF puts more emphasis on the ‘surround view’ technology in the future-oriented field of semi-autonomous driving. Cameras scan the area around the vehicle and transmit the images on a display. This allows recognition of dangers such as approaching cross traffic at an early stage and enables the driver or the vehicle to react. The driver can also see pedestrians or cyclists on the side or at the rear of the vehicle. This all-round view enables drivers to manoeuvre even in the tightest space.


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