Bosch automated driving team receives reinforcements. The development of self-driving automobiles is seen as the pinnacle of carmaker discipline. Bosch, as one of the world’s largest mobility suppliers, is a driving force behind the advancements in this field. It’s now bolstering its position by purchasing Five, Europe’s top autonomous driving firm.
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A common vision brought Bosch and Five together
Headquartered in Cambridge, U.K., Five is to be part of the Bosch Cross-Domain Computing Solutions division. Five’s around 140 workers are working on the goal of safe, self-driving automobiles at six sites throughout the United Kingdom. Bosch was chosen above the other takeover candidates by five people. The two firms have similar perspectives on automated driving and safe automated driving technologies.
At the beginning of April 2022, Five and Bosch signed agreements. It was decided that no financial information would be released. The deal is still awaiting clearance from antitrust regulators.
“Automated driving is set to make road traffic safer. We want Five to give an extra boost to our work in software development for safe automated driving, and offer our customers European-made technology,” says Dr. Markus Heyn, member of the Bosch board of management and chairman of the Mobility Solutions business sector.
“Scale matters in building automated driving technology. Bosch is a global leader in driving assistance technologies, with core technologies and vast data lakes that will be essential in bringing safe self-driving systems to market. We’re excited for Five to become part of Europe’s most powerful SAE Level 4 player and to be a part of Bosch’s future success,” says Stan Boland, the CEO of Five.
Developing self-driving software at a pace
Five has created a team of professionals in cloud software, safety assurance, robotics, and machine learning since its founding in 2016, and has positioned itself at the forefront of creating cutting-edge software and artificial intelligence-based solutions for autonomous driving to SAE Level 4.
The company is currently largely focused on a cloud-based development and testing platform for self-driving vehicle software. This provides developers with all the tools they need to quickly develop autonomous driving software and test it before and during deployment in test cars.
The platform can evaluate actual data from a fleet of test cars, construct sophisticated testing scenarios, and create a simulation environment that allows for hyper-scale evaluation and validation of system behavior.
The Five & Bosch automated driving team
Five will work at Bosch to improve the company’s agile project framework for self-driving vehicle development. The software engineering environments of the two teams are quite complementary, and they will be combined to build a single solution.
“Five is the perfect fit for our engineering activities – not least due to its associates’ mindset and agile approach. This brings us closer to our aim of getting safe automated driving onto our roads,” says Dr. Mathias Pillin, president of the Bosch Cross-Domain Computing Solutions division.
Furthermore, the purchase is a step forward for Bosch in cementing its market position in software and autonomous driving. The company’s portfolio was recently expanded by the acquisition of Atlatec GmbH, a high-resolution digital map expert.
As a result, Bosch will be the only firm that can provide all of the components for autonomous driving from a single source, including actuators, sensors, and maps, as well as software and the engineering environment.
Bosch covers all four levels of automation
Automated driving is and will continue to be a key business sector for Bosch. In this field, the firm is a market leader in terms of innovation. It created the groundwork for all levels of automation at an early stage with its driver assistance systems and the necessary sensor technologies.
Bosch is pursuing a two-pronged strategy. On the one hand, it is creating solutions for private automobiles with a focus on driver support and partly and conditionally automated systems in order to make driving safer and more relaxing (SAE Levels 1 to 3). On the other side, the team is working on higher-level automation solutions, with a focus on fleet vehicles and new operating models.
Bosch views SAE Level 4 autonomous driving systems as having appealing applications and commercial possibilities in the logistics industry. Furthermore, Bosch has already created automatic valet parking, the first commercially available driving function that does not need the presence of a driver.