ZF Friedrichshafen AG has taken on a 45 percent stake in Astyx Communication & Sensors GmbH, which specializes in ultra high-frequency radar sensors and modules for the automotive and other industries.
Speaking about the acquisition, Dr. Stefan Sommer, ZF’s chief executive officer said that this is the next step in the R&D sector after the company ventured into LIDAR technology for object and environmental detection in 2016. ZF already has range of radar solutions for driver assistance functions like distance control and Astyx has radar technology that will complement ZF’s range of products. The combination of ZF’s and Astyx’s radar, LIDAR and camera sensor technology can help the company make progress in delivering environmental detection functionality that is crucial for advanced safety and autonomous driving.
Astyx makes and produces sensors for short and long-range radars which function in a way that is similar to ultrasound. The difference between the two technologies is that radar systems transmit bundled electromagnetic radiation instead of ultrasound signals in order to detect objects in addition to calculating their speed and the distance from them. Modern radars are highly advanced and accurate up the centimeter level in achieving a high-resolution in terms of detection, position and determining the motion of people and objects down to the centimetre.
Working with ZF, Astyx will come up with the next generation of radar sensors for vehicle manufacturers which can deliver more precise images of the short and long-range environment.
ZF CEO Sommer said that the company’s ‘See – Think – Act’ principle means that it is committed to giving the cars of the future better intelligence and sensing capability. This is why it is gradually and systematically expanding its technology portfolio. Investing more in radar technology will help ZF to reinforce the environmental awareness of future cars and take it closer to its vision of accident-free driving.
ZF acquired and integrated TRW into its Active and Passive Safety Technology Division in May 2015. TRW had been developing and supplying radar technology for many years. Advanced driver assistance systems need radar as correct calculation of distance and automatic speed control are important for their functioning.
Astyx’s CEO, Günther Trummer, said about ZF’s minority interest in the company that Astyx was looking forward to cooperating with ZF as the company now has a very strong partner which is involved in shaping the megatrends of safety and autonomous driving.
He added,” Thanks to our comprehensive know-how in radar technology, we are the enabler for all driver assistance applications right up to highly automated driving.”
ZF will be taking over the shares of the previous minority shareholder Hannover Finanz Group and the foundation shareholders.
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