As China‘s smart electric vehicle market grows rapidly, more and more multinational companies are looking to get a piece of the pie.
German automotive parts maker ZF Group signed a strategic cooperation agreement with Chinese smart driving technology provider CalmCar on Wednesday to jointly develop Auto Parking Assist (APA) and Automated Valet Parking (AVP) systems. They plan to have these systems in mass production in the Chinese vehicle manufacturer’s models by 2022.
To deepen the partnership, ZF will also take a stake in CalmCar, although the amount of the investment was not disclosed. This is the first time ZF has invested in a local Chinese technology start-up.
The two companies will jointly develop APA and AVP technologies on a global scale, and the systems will be the first to be mass-produced in China, serving both local and global customers.
ZF can currently provide solutions ranging from sensory fusion to planning and control execution algorithms that can meet the different needs of customers from L2, L2+ to L3 mass production.
During the Shanghai auto show in April, ZF unveiled its first AVP system, which was developed in collaboration with CalmCar.
This AVP system is equipped with four surround-view 192° fisheye cameras, seamlessly connected with ultrasonic radar sensing through 360° surround-view sensing developed by CalmCar.
It can effectively identify parking spaces and obstacles, can help locate the vehicle indoors and outdoors, and plan the automatic parking path in real-time.
It enables driverless parking without relying on parking infrastructure, just like XPeng Motors’ memory parking function.
Xing Xun, director of engineering for ZF China’s Electronics and Driver Assistance Systems Division, said that the choice of CalmCar was not a hasty move. “We actually had contacts and started working together since 2017, and it took four years of getting to know the Chinese startup before we saw it as a real partner.”
Founded in 2016, CalmCar’s main products include visual perception, driver behavior analysis, parking and DSSAD systems, serving OEMs and Tier1 L2+ to L4 smart driving mass production platforms.