Bosch Buys UK Self-Driving Firm Five AI

Multinational tech firm Bosch has acquired Five AI, a British automated driving company.

According to an announcement posted on the Bosch website Tuesday (April 12), Five chose Bosch over other takeover bidders, as the companies “share a common vision of automated driving and of safe automated driving systems.”

The acquisition agreement was signed earlier this month, with the two firms agreeing not to reveal financial details. The deal is still subject to approval from antitrust authorities.

“Automated driving is set to make road traffic safer,” said Markus Heyn, who chairs Bosch’s mobility solutions business sector and sits on the company’s board. “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.”

Based in Cambridge, England, with five other offices around the U.K., Five will become part of the Bosch Cross-Domain Computing Solutions division. According to a Tech Crunch report, the company put itself up for sale following a pivot from robotaxis to B2B.

“Scale matters in building automated driving technology,” said Five CEO Stan Boland. “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.”

The acquisition comes less than two weeks after Bosch purchased a 14% minority stake in Indian B2B startup Zeliot Connected Services.

Self-driving vehicles are seen as a promising future for the auto industry, with Automakers from Tesla to GM and Volvo having set their eyes on developing autonomous vehicles, although regulatory and technological challenges remain.

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