ZF is looking to further accelerate its autonomous vehicle offerings and is working towards making them safe by reliably detecting and identifying other road users, road markings or traffic signs, even in harsh weather conditions or poor lighting.
For this, the company says high-performance software for recognising the vehicle environment plays a central role. Towards this objective, ZF said it has acquired a 6 percent stake in the South Korean software company StradVision, a leading provider of artificial-intelligence-based vision processing technology for autonomous vehicles and ADAS systems.
Marc Bolitho, head of Engineering of the Electronics and ADAS division at ZF Group said, “The partnership with StradVision considerably extends our autonomous driving perception and sensor fusion capabilities. Together with our sensors, middleware platform and high-performance computing solutions, this vision perception software expertise from StradVision can provide a key component of our environmental sensor fusion for shuttles, commercial and light vehicles that can be optimised for centralised electrical architectures.”
Junhwan Kim, CEO, StradVision said, “We are proud to count ZF as one of our strategic investors. Together with the global mobility specialist ZF, we will strive to speed up the market for autonomous driving with leading perception solutions.”
StradVision software enables vehicles to detect and identify objects accurately, such as other vehicles, lanes, pedestrians, animals, free space, traffic signs, and lights, even in harsh weather and poor lighting. The software relies on deep learning-based perception algorithms, which requires a relatively small amount of memory and has low power consumption.
The software supports a wide variety of hardware platforms and can also be customised and optimised for other hardware systems. At present, the StradVision software is used in high volume models of ADAS and autonomous driving vehicles.
ZF says autonomous driving and vehicle software are among the strategic technology fields within its product portfolio. The company’s AD system solutions for the automotive and mobility sectors include high-performance computers such as the ZF ProAI, automotive software supporting ADAS and AD functions, sensors like cameras, radar and LiDAR, and smart actuators.