Bosch acquires self-driving company Five AI

The purchase marks another significant step in Bosch’s autonomous journey.

Graham Hope

May 31, 2022

3 Min Read

The purchase marks another significant step in Bosch’s autonomous journey.

Bosch has bolstered its self-driving armory by acquiring British software company Five AI for an undisclosed amount.

Bosch described the Cambridge-based firm as “Europe’s leading start-up in the field of automated driving” and said it beat other takeover bidders for the purchase, according to a company statement.

The acquisition, which is still subject to approval by antitrust authorities, should take around two months to complete and will see Bosch absorb Five AI’s intellectual property and 140 employees.

Five AI arrived on the scene in 2016, and has carved out a reputation as an expert in cloud software, safety assurance, robotics and machine learning, developing AI-based solutions for autonomous driving. Of late, it has focused particularly on a cloud-based development and testing platform for the software used in self-driving cars. This allows the creation of advanced testing scenarios and the construction of comprehensive simulation environments.

In 2019, it was a key player in the U.K. government-backed Streetwise project, an initiative designed to demonstrate that autonomous tech was advanced enough to use in urban environments and described at the time as “the most complex AV trials completed publicly in Europe.” The company has acquired nearly $80 million in funding since its launch.

For Bosch, the purchase marks another significant step on what has become an increasingly interesting autonomous journey in recent years.

In 2017, it announced a partnership with automotive company Daimler (owner of Mercedes), with the pair suggesting fully autonomous cars could be on the road by the start of the 2020s.

That prediction has yet to be realized, but Mercedes and Bosch did recently showcase one area they have been focusing on with a demonstration of automated valet parking tech

 at the Intercontinental Los Angeles Downtown Hotel in California.

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