ZF sees bright future with stake in Ibeo Automotive Systems02 August 2016

ZF has acquired a 40% stake in Ibeo Automotive Systems, the Hamburg-based market leader in Lidar (‘light detection and ranging’) technology with potential applications in automated and autonomous driving.

Ibeo is already working with several major global vehicle manufacturers and, says ZF’s CEO Dr Stefan Sommer, the deal gives ZF access to a core technology for environmental and object recognition”.

Lidar is a procedure in which a light pulse is emitted to determine a distance based on runtime and speed of light. It is an optical method for measuring distance and speed that is very similar to radar, except that laser pulses are used instead of radio waves.

Ibeo’s next step will be to develop its Lidar technology to reproduce a three-dimensional image of the environment without the rotating mirrors contained in current systems.

“Our central theme at ZF is ‘See-Think-Act’ – a philosophy which highlights how we are equipping the vehicles of tomorrow with new senses and more intelligence.To achieve this, we are gradually filling in the remaining gaps in our technology portfolio,” adds Sommer.

“With Lidar technology and sensor fusion, we are able to strengthen the eyes and brain of future generations of vehicles and thus move a step closer to realising the vision of accident-free driving.”

Ibeo expects to increase its workforce from around 50 to 250 employees in the medium term and will set up an Autonomous Driving Competence Center (AD-CC) to focus on the volume production and marketing of solutions for highly automated and autonomous driving.

“We are very much looking forward to cooperating with ZF. We now have a very strong partner which is progressively shaping the megatrends of safety, efficiency and autonomous driving,” comments Ibeo’s CEO, Dr Ulrich Lages.

“With our comprehensive know-how, we can enable all driver assistance applications up to highly automated driving with 3-D Lidar technology.”

Laura Cork

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