German technology company ZF is expanding production at its facility in Peterlee, County Durham, to address the growing demand for advanced camera systems that support automated driving.
The company is investing around £30 million over the next two years to fund new production lines for the start of production of its next-generation camera technologies. It is also ramping up the recruitment of engineers, production specialists and apprentices.
Robin Finley, director of the ZF plant in Peterlee, said: "ZF develops and manufactures technologies that are significantly helping to reduce emissions and accidents.
“In pursuit of this goal, the company combines precision engineering with digital technology to help enable vehicles to see, think and act – sensing their environment, processing the data and responding accordingly.
"Advanced camera technology is a major contributor to active safety systems that help enhance road safety.”
ZF offers a full portfolio of sensors needed for vehicles to detect their surroundings, including radar, lidar and cameras.
ZF Peterlee produces safety cameras, with output currently running at 33,000 units per week.
In 2019, the factory will start production of a next-generation system incorporating Mobileye’s EyeQ4 technology which has powerful object recognition capabilities (eight times more than the current generation).
Called S-Cam 4, major car companies will use this camera to support specific road safety and automated driving tasks including Highway Driving Assist and Traffic Jam Assist. By 2020, production of this sensor is expected to be around 70,000 units per week.
ZF cameras support current driver assist systems including automatic emergency braking (AEB) and lane assist functions.