Autoliv seeks to buy self-driving tech image

The Swedish automotive safety supplier plans to expand its business and it is now seeking to invest in autonomous-related systems, Bloomberg reports.

Autoliv is the world’s biggest supplier of car-safety components and its business is now more profitable than ever thanks to Takata’s massive airbag crisis, which forced the major automakers to search for another supplier. The Swedish-based company has to make now tens of millions of extra inflators, boosting its production and earnings as well. However, self-driving cars are not so far away, the expectation being for them to drastically decrease traffic accidents, and thus the increased demand for products such as airbags and seat belts.

Autoliv looks to expand its business by planning to invest in safety technologies related to the upcoming autonomous trend, such as radars and smart software, Chief Executive Officer Jan Carlson said in an interview last week in Stockholm, cited by Bloomberg. The supplier is now in talks with some companies. “If we can do technology acquisitions, which has for a long time been in our strategy, it is of course preferable” to developing systems from scratch, he said.

Autoliv is mainly looking at the Lidar system (Light Detection And Ranging), a technology which makes use of light beams to get better, 3D, higher resolution images of the surroundings – needed to ensure self-driving cars become aware of what’s around them. Autoliv has spotted some Lidar companies that are “more interesting than others,” Carlson said. “It’s too early to mention any names as we are in various levels of discussions with some of these guys.”

Via Bloomberg