German technology giant Bosch has moved to acquire automated driving firm Five.

The Cambridge-headquartered company, fifth on our TransportTech 50 ranking late last year, is Europe’s leading startup in the field with six locations in the UK and 140 staff.

Financial details were not disclosed and the acquisition is subject to approval by the antitrust authorities.

Bosch said Five gave it preference over other takeover bidders as the two companies share a common vision around safe automated driving systems. 

“Automated driving is set to make road traffic safer. 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,” said Dr Markus Heyn, member of the Bosch board of management and chairman of the Mobility Solutions business sector. 

Five is to become part of Bosch’s cross-domain computing solutions division. 

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“Scale matters in building automated driving technology,” said 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.”

The Society of Automotive Engineers defines six levels of driving automation, ranging from 0 (fully manual) to 5 (fully autonomous).

“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,” added Boland.

Five focuses primarily on a cloud-based development and testing platform for the software used in self-driving cars which offers engineers the programs they need to create automated driving software at pace, and to test it before and during its deployment in test vehicles. 

The platform is able to analyse 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 behaviour.