With the acquisition of Tedrive Steering Systems, Knorr-Bremse said it will be able to offer automated driving functionalities “that were previously restricted to the passenger-car sector,” such as active lane-keeping on highways and capabilities specific to commercial vehicles, including platooning and autonomous yard maneuvering.
The deal, announced June 1, is subject to approval by anti-trust authorities. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Tedrive, headquartered in Wülfrath, Germany, employs about 320 workers in Germany, Turkey, Russia and the United States.
Munich-based Knorr-Bremse said Tedrive’s intelligent Hydraulic Steering Assist (iHSA) technology “was developed with a view to meeting the demands of autonomous driving in commercial vehicles.”
Autonomous driving incorporates control of longitudinal and lateral vehicle movement independent of driver input, Knorr-Bremse said. The company’s electronic brake-control systems already control longitudinal motion, and by entering the steering business, it will add lateral movement to its capabilities.
“For us as a manufacturer of braking systems, entering the steering market is the logical next step in expanding our systems expertise,” said Peter Laier, the Knorr-Bremse board member responsible for the company’s commercial vehicle systems division. “This is particularly important against the backdrop of increasingly widespread driver-assistance systems and the automation of driving functions — developments that not only offer greater safety but also reduce total vehicle operating costs.”
Laier added that Knorr-Bremse’s new generation of Global Scalable Brake Control products “is designed to support the complex control procedures required for autonomous driving.”
Knorr-Bremse member company Bendix develops commercial-vehicle braking systems and active safety technologies such as stability control, lane-departure warnings and forward collision mitigation.