The increasing use of computers and the internet to assist driving is a strategically important area for Bosch. This week, the company completed the takeover of auto-parts maker ZF Lenksysteme (ZFLS), securing access to important technology for autonomous driving.
Bosch already owned half of the company, and both sides are keeping quiet about the price paid. Industry experts estimate Bosch will have paid about €1 billion once the deal is complete.
ZFLS currently makes 60 percent of its revenues, recently €4.1 billion ($5.3 billion), from electric steering systems. Power assisted steering is made possible by electric motors, which are easier to build into driver-assistance systems, such as emergency breaking and skid prevention, than traditional equipment.
Bosch, based in the southern state of Baden-Württemberg, has developed a system for moving vehicles and trailers via a smart phone and is getting close to production. Similar systems for commercial vehicles are undergoing trials. The company was therefore keen to secure ZFLS’s steering know-how.