Bosch Buys Five AI to Accelerate Autonomous Driving Software Development

Bosch and Five say their expert teams and autonomy software complement each other to advance self-driving safety.


Five says it is working on the vision of safe self-driving vehicles.

As automakers and technology companies pursue autonomous vehicles, more partnerships are forming. Mobility provider Robert Bosch GmbH yesterday said it is acquiring self-driving developer Five AI Ltd. The companies said they “share a common vision of automated driving and of safe automated driving systems” but declined to specify the financial terms of the transaction.

“Automated driving is set to make road traffic safer,” said Dr. Markus Heyn, member of the Bosch board of management and chairman of its Mobility Solutions business sector. “We want Five to give an extra boost to our work in software development for safe automated driving and offer our customers European-made technology.”

Stuttgart, Germany-based Bosch said its advanced driver-assist systems (ADAS) and sensor technology provide a foundation all levels of automated driving. The company said it is taking a two-pronged approach. To make driving safer and more relaxed, it is developing systems for partially and conditionally automated private vehicles at SAE Levels 1 to 3.

Bosch said its team is also working on higher levels of automation for fleet vehicles and new operating models. The company said it sees strong business potential for Level 4 autonomous vehicles in the logistics sector. Bosch added that it has already developed automated valet parking, which it claimed is “the first production-ready driving function not to require a driver.”

Five to join Bosch Cross-Domain Computing unit

Founded in 2016, Five said it has built a team of experts in cloud software, safety assurance, robotics, and machine learning. The Cambridge, U.K.-based company has 140 associates at six locations in the U.K. and said it focuses on a cloud-based development and testing platform for self-driving software through SAE Level 4.

Five said its platform is designed “to analyze real data from a fleet of test vehicles, create advanced testing scenarios, and build a simulation environment that makes it possible to assess and validate system behavior at hyper-scale.” This enables engineers to quickly create automated driving software and test it before and during deployment in test vehicles, the company said.

Five chose Bosch over other takeover bidders. It will be part of the part of the Bosch Cross-Domain Computing Solutions division. The acquisition is still subject to approval by the antitrust authorities.

“Scale matters in building automated driving technology,” stated Stan Boland, CEO of Five. “Bosch is a global leader in driving assistance technologies, with core technologies and vast data lakes that will be essential in bringing safe self-driving systems to market. We’re excited for Five to become part of Europe’s most powerful SAE Level 4 player and to be a part of Bosch’s future success.”

Five simulation

Five focuses on a cloud-based development and testing platform to analyze data from a fleet of test vehicles, create testing scenarios, and build a simulation to assess and validate system behavior. Source: Five

Two teams to merge for agile collaboration

Bosch said it expects Five to strengthen its agile project structure for self-driving car development. The companies will merge their complementary software engineering environments, which will be merged to form a single solution.

“Five is the perfect fit for our engineering activities – not least due to its associates’ mindset and agile approach,” said Dr. Mathias Pillin, president of the Bosch Cross-Domain Computing Solutions division. “This brings us closer to our aim of getting safe automated driving onto our roads.”

Bosch added that the acquisition is another step in its drive toward market leadership in software and automated driving. The company recently purchased Atlatec GmbH, which specializes in high-resolution digital maps.

Bosch claimed to be the only company that can offer its customers all the building blocks of automated driving, from actuators, sensors, and maps to software and the engineering environment.

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Five says it is working on the vision of safe self-driving vehicles.

Robot Technologies