ZF invests in radar sensor company

March 31, 2017 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
ZF Friedrichshafen AG has acquired approximately 45 percent of the shares of Astyx Communication & Sensors GmbH (Ottobrunn, Germany) from the Hanover Finance Group and founding companies for its automotive radar technology.

Radar technology is one of the indispensable ingredients for highly automated and autonomous driving and thus is gaining strategic importance for automotive suppliers.

"After entering the Lidar technology last year, we are now expanding our access to a further key technology for environmental and object recognition," explains ZF CEO Stefan Sommer, the move. "Astyx's radar technology complements our existing radar activities, especially for driver assistance functions, such as the distance control - and the fusion of the data from radar, lidar and camera sensors results in a perfect perception of the environment as a prerequisite for this autonomous driving. "

Astyx is active in the development of both short-range and long-range radar sensors. State-of-the-art radar sensor types offer high resolutions for detection, position and movement determination of persons and objects down to the centimeter range. With ZF, Astyx will develop the next generation of radar sensors for global automotive manufacturers, whose signals will produce even more precise images of the immediate and remote vehicle environment.

ZF’s radar activities are bundled in the Active and Passive Safety Technology Division. Also automotive supplier TRW, acquired by ZF in May 2015 has been merged into this division. ZF is using radar technology mainly for driver assistance systems such as distance or automatic speed control. With Astyx, the company intends to create the prerequisites for the complex environmental perception of the fully automatic driving functions of the future, said ZF engineering manager Torsten Gollewski who also is managing director of ZF's subsidiary Zukunft Ventures GmbH, where the group’s technological investments are now also being organized, as is Astyx.