ZF Buys Imaging Specialist

ZF Friedrichshafen AG is acquiring 90% of Simi Reality Motion Systems GmbH, a German developer of imaging software that ZF plans to integrate with its occupant restraint systems. Terms weren’t disclosed.

Founded in 1992, Simi Reality uses high-speed cameras to detect, monitor and analyze human movements. The company initially focused on systems for medicine and sports applications, but it has since expanded into automotive, entertainment and industrial markets.

Simi Reality’s imaging technology will help identify an occupant’s location within a vehicle. This will enable ZF to tailor airbag deployment to a passenger’s position, which the supplier notes will become increasingly important as seating positions change in vehicles that drive themselves.

Simi Reality currently has about 35 employees, most of whom are software engineers. Founder Andreas Russ is retiring in conjunction with the ZF acquisition. His sons Pascal and Philipp will head the business under ZF’s control.