VW Eyes AV Boost with Camera Software Acquisition

Volkswagen is hoping to accelerate its driverless technology capabilities with the acquisition of an established front camera software business.

Its subsidiary company, Car.Software Org, has acquired Hella Aglaia Mobile Vision from its parent company, Hella,  including the associated testing and validation departments. In the course of the acquisition, about half of the employees of Hella Aglaia are to be transferred to the Car.Software Org. The acquisition, which is still subject to approval by the anti-trust authorities, is expected to be completed at the beginning of 2021.

Car.Software Org is developing driver assistance systems up to automated driving and parking on behalf of all VW brands. Image processing is seen as a key competence in this area with growing strategic relevance for the future. It said the objective is to generate a precise image of the vehicle’s surroundings using data from cameras and other sensors. This will allow the vehicle to detect its environment and to determine its position, to predict situations and to carry out proactive maneuvers.

Hella Aglaia enjoys a high level of competence in the development and validation of image processing software in the automotive environment. This includes optical and AI-based systems allowing vehicles to detect and classify elements of their surroundings such as objects, lights, lanes and traffic signs.

Dirk Hilgenberg, CEO of the Car.Software Org, said: “By acquiring the camera software business area of Hella together with the relevant image processing know-how, we are continuing our strategy of developing key software components in-house in the future. This way, we will boost the development of competence in the field of computer vision within the Car.Software Org and strengthen our position for the development of safe and innovative driving functions.”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in London. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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