ZF TRW insists the former mantra adopted by its newly-acquired US supplier of ‘affordable safety’ continues to drive its business strategy.
The merger saw TRW purchased by ZF last year and integrated as the Active & Passive Safety Technology Division to create a combined EUR29bn (US$32bn) leviathan, which is now one of the world’s largest automotive component manufacturers.
“We are working day by day with OEMs for systems that are affordable,” ZF TRW portfolio director, Driver Assist Systems, Christophe Minster told just-auto at the company’s Driver Assist Facility in the Western French city of Brest. “We have all an interest that makes this technology affordable.
“The next stage for us is automatic driving on motorways – the technology and algorithms exist and are in place today. [However] We realise technology arrives before regulations – there is a lot of work to do there.
“Today, Euro NCAP is one of the drivers of this market. Obviously safety requires certain precise functionalities. To have those five stars, you have to have those driver aids such as AEB and to deliver this activity, you need radar.”
To that end ZF recently announced a cash injection of around EUR2.9m at its radar facility in Brest, for new equipment, tooling and components.
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Specifically, the investment will be ploughed into development of ZF’s next generation radar sensor, as well as a 500 square metre expansion of the warehouse.
“What makes it so good together between ZF and TRW was ZF was more of the higher end of the market and TRW’s volume focus makes it a perfect partnership,” ZF ADAS global director, Peter Austen added to just-auto in Brest.
“There is absolutely no change in the concept of affordable safety. It is now we address the complete market.”
“Radar is a fundamental part of the automated driving equation. When combined with camera, intelligent control units and actuators, it can help to enable partially automated driving functions such as Highway Driving Assist with automated lane change.
“Together with our advanced camera systems, our AC1000 family is an ideal solution to meet Euro NCAP requirements up to 2020.”
ZF TRW has designed and developed radar in Brest since 1999 and started production with its first generation system in 2002.
Since then, the company has launched radar on multiple global passenger car and truck platforms and with the AC1000 family it is entering its fifth generation.