SUNNYVALE, Calif. -- ZF is preparing for an autonomous future by doubling down on what it sees as its primary strengths: mechanical and safety systems.
The supplier recently opened an office in Silicon Valley, a key part of its strategy to ensure the company remains a major player when traditional cars give way to driverless vehicles, according to ZF CEO Stefan Sommer. Rather than develop new technology in-house, Sommer plans to adapt ZF's current offerings for self-driving cars, and collaborate with Silicon Valley players to enhance its core products.
"We want to prepare the braking, steering and driveline system in a way that it really cooperates with new technology, to provide the best value for the end customer," Sommer recently told Automotive News.
ZF's strategy contrasts with other major tier one suppliers, who have turned to acquisitions and in-house technology development to gain a foothold in the autonomous vehicle space. In the past two years, Delphi has acquired data management company Movimento and autonomous driving software startup Ottomatika, and Robert Bosch invested $1.1 billion in a plant to manufacture its own chips for self-driving cars.