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Bosch is continuing to bolster its autonomous driving capabilities this week with its acquisition of Five AI, a company developing autonomous vehicle (AV) software. The details of the agreement will not be disclosed, and Bosch noted that acquisition is still subject to approval by antitrust authorities.
The company has been attempting to consolidate its market position in software and automated driving. Last month, Bosch acquired Atlatec, a company that creates high-resolution 3D maps for Level 3 and 4 autonomous driving. Atlatec joined Bosch’s Cross-Domain Computing Solutions division, the same division Five AI will be joining.
Five was founded in 2016 with the goal of eventually rolling out a fleet of autonomous robotaxis in the UK, where it’s headquartered. Four years later, in 2020, the company began offering its platform for AV development to companies developing AVs. Now, the company’s about 140 employees spread over over its six UK locations, will be joining the Bosch team.
Five’s platform is able to leverage the company’s data from it’s fleet of test vehicles to create advanced testing scenarios. It’s testing environment allows users to assess and validate system behavior at hyper-scale.
“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,” Stan Boland, the CEO of Five, said.
According to Bosch, the software building blocks in both of the companies toolchain engineering environments complement each other. Five’s cloud-based development and testing platform for the software used in AVs will be merged with Bosch’s software engineering environment to create a single solution.
“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,” Dr. Markus Heyn, member of the Bosch board of management and chairman of the Mobility Solutions business sector, said.
Bosch has been taking a two-pronged approach to developing autonomous driving technology. It’s working on driver assistance and partially automated systems for private vehicles, while also working on higher levels of automation. For example, the company has developed automated valet parking.