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Germany’s ZF Coughs up $13.5 Bil to Buy TRW

Acquisition likely to intensify race for autonomous driving systems.

by on Sep.16, 2014

ZF's acquisition of TRW may have just heated up the competition among suppliers to develop autonomous vehicle technologies.

In a $13.5 billion deal likely to intensify the race to bring autonomous driving technology to market, Germany’s ZF Friedrichshafen AG will acquire U.S. auto partsmaker TRW Automotive Holdings Corp.

The transaction will create the world’s second-largest automotive supplier, with combined sales of approximately $41 billion and 138,000 employees, the two companies said in a joint statement. The agreement was unanimously approved by TRW’s Board of Directors and ZF’s Supervisory Board and Management Board.

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The ZF and TRW deal is expected to close early next year and the combined company “will be well positioned to capitalize on favorable megatrends” in the automotive industry by bringing together complementary product offerings and leading technology positions that serve high-growth areas such as fuel efficiency, increased safety requirements and autonomous driving, executives from the two companies said. (more…)

ZF Active Shocks Can Regenerate Power Like Hybrid

System promises “sports car handling” and luxury sedan comfort.

by on Aug.30, 2013

The ZF GenShock can recapture energy while smoothing out the roughest road bumps.

With its deeply rutted roads, Michigan just might turn into the energy capital of the world if ZF has its way.

The German automotive parts maker has developed what it claims to be the “world’s first fully active, regenerative suspension.” While a number of other suppliers have developed active suspension concepts over the years, ZF Friedrichshafen AG has teamed up with Levant Power Corp. to produce a system that actually works like the regenerative braking system in a hybrid vehicle, recapturing energy whenever the suspension gets jostled.

Shocking!

While the concept likely won’t be used to power your car, it does address one of the biggest problems with earlier active suspension concepts, such as one Massachusetts-based Bose demonstrated a few years back. Past designs have required vast amounts of energy to operate, and that meant bigger alternators and heavier batteries – cutting into fuel economy, among other things.

(more…)