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Bosch ramps up automated vehicle efforts with Five acquisition

The move will bolster Bosch's presence in the autonomous vehicle market.
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Written by Aimee Chanthadavong, Senior Journalist on
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Image: Bosch

Bosch is further ramping up its play in the automated vehicle market with the acquisition of automated driving startup Five.

While the financial details of the deal remain undisclosed, the acquisition will enable Bosch to further its development of self-driving cars and will see the respective software engineering teams merge. Five will form part of Bosch's cross-domain computing solutions division.

"Five is the perfect fit for our engineering activities – not least due to its associates' mindset and agile approach. This brings us closer to our aim of getting safe automated driving onto our roads," Bosch cross-domain computing president Mathias Pillin said in a statement.

This latest acquisition by Bosch follows the company's recent takeover of digital maps firm Atlatec, and is expected to bolster Bosch's capability to facilitate autonomous driving.

The German company has been building out its position in the automated vehicle sector for several years now. Previously, the company partnered up with the Queensland and Victorian governments in Australia on separate occasions to trial the use of self-driving cars.

The company also inked a deal with Baidu and map providers, AutoNavi and NavInfo, to develop "high-precision maps" that it said were necessary to facilitate autonomous driving.

"Automated driving is set to make road traffic safer," according to Bosch mobility solutions business chairman Markus Heyn.

Earlier this week, San Francisco police officers were caught on video pulling over an autonomous vehicle operated by Cruise for driving without headlines, only to find nobody inside. The video, which was originally published on Instagram, showed shortly after the car was pulled over, it took off again.

In a response to a tweet that was made by 9to5 publisher Seth Weintraub, Cruise said the vehicle had operated as intended as it drove over to the "nearest safe location for a traffic stop".

"We work closely with the SFPD on how to interact with our vehicles, including a dedicated phone number for them to call in situations like this," Cruise added. 

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