CV BRAKING control systems specialist WABCO is the subject of a ‘definitive agreement’ to be acquired by German engineering giant ZF in a $7 billion deal. The combined sales of both companies is approx. €40 billion.

The planned acquisition is part of ZF’s Next Generation Mobility strategy and will expand the company’s expertise to include commercial vehicle braking solutions for the first time. This plays a central role for the control of automated driving functions, including emergency braking manoeuvres of trucks and trailers.

ZF (Zeppelin Foundation) expects that automated driving functions will primarily be implemented for commercial vehicles and in areas with low complexity and traffic (eg. factory sites, airports, agriculture).

The combination of both businesses is expected to further accelerate the development of new technologies to enable autonomous commercial vehicle functions, making ZF less dependent on the economic cycle of the passenger car industry.

The planned strategic acquisition of WABCO (Westinghouse Air Brake Company) is consistent with ZF’s goal to develop and deliver technology solutions that make cars and commercial vehicles see, think and act in order to reduce emissions and increase road safety.

While ZF already has sensor systems and computing technology for its ‘see’ and ‘think’ competence, together with WABCO, ZF will in future be completing the portfolio for commercial vehicle technologies to offer solutions to allow vehicles to ‘act’. ZF is already a leading supplier in the area of steering and driveline technology.