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Parts Supplier to Challenge VW, Ford With $14 Billion Push Into Self-Driving Cars

  • ZF in talks with customers on electric self-driving van
  • Urban delivery vehicle will be able to follow parcel carrier
Ford to Recall 1.6 Million F-150 Pickups for Seat Belt Fire Risk

Photographer: Jeff Kowalsky/Bloomberg

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Volkswagen AG and Ford Motor Co. are set for more competition in the race to role out self-driving vehicles as parts supplier ZF Friedrichshafen AG develops its own offering in the latest sign of how technology shifts are upending traditional roles in the auto industry.

ZF plans to invest 12 billion euros ($14 billion) over the next five years on electric and autonomous vehicle technology. The spending of about 2.4 billion euros annually outpaces the 2.2 billion euros ZF spent in overall research and development last year. The project includes developing a battery-powered delivery van that can drive on its own, the German automotive supplier said Wednesday.