ZF has announced it is entering into a strategic partnership with Hella with a focus on sensor technology, particularly for front camera systems, imaging and radar systems. This partnership, for development and marketing aims to produce modern assistance systems and autonomous driving functions for passenger cars, commercial vehicles and off-highway applications. The first joint development project of ZF and Hella in camera technology will start immediately, with the objective of a market launch in 2020, the company noted.
Through the partnership, ZF will further strengthen its portfolio as a systems supplier which offers both modern assistance systems and autonomous driving functions. Additionally, Hella is expected to drive technological development and benefits from a broader market access with its leading technologies.
In their first joint project, ZF and Hella are targeting a current market trend of using camera-supported assistance functions to achieve high Euro NCAP safety ratings. This will increase the demand for front cameras in all vehicle segments, the company noted. ZF and Hella will offer automotive manufacturers a joint product and are starting development immediately with an expected SOP in 2020. ZF brings hardware and its expertise in functions, systems and integration to the project, whereas Hella and its subsidiary Hella Aglaia Mobile Vision contribute competence in imaging software and application development.
The companies also said that in the mid to long-term, this partnership will also provide camera systems for automated driving functions as well as for commercial vehicles and off-highway applications. In addition, the partners will also identify opportunities to provide attractive volume-production solutions in the short to mid-term by jointly building up their product portfolio. The 360° surround view radar systems from Hella, together with ZF’s mid-range and long-range radar systems will establish a new and comprehensive systems solution, it noted.
This partnership for sensor technology with Hella enhances ZF’s position as a complete systems supplier for modern assistance systems as well as autonomous driving functions, noted Dr Stefan Sommer, CEO, ZF Friedrichshafen AG. He said that this non-exclusive cooperation with Hella is an important expansion of the company’s Vision Zero ecosystem of development partnerships. Thus, ZF can create a wider technological foundation for safety and autonomous driving, noted Dr Sommer.
Dr Rolf Breidenbach, CEO, Hella KGaA Hueck & Co, said the company is a strong and experienced provider of sensor technologies, and its knowledge aligns well with ZF’s expertise. Hella clearly aims to provide market-leading and high-performing assistance systems and autonomous driving functions by combining the strengths of both the companies, he said. Dr Breidenbach added that this cooperation will strengthen Hella’s position as a well-regarded supplier for imaging and radar sensor technologies.