FRANKFURT, July 4 (Reuters) - German auto supplier Robert Bosch said its Mobility Solutions division, which makes sophisticated safety systems and autonomous car components, will grow around 7 percent this year, benefiting from a push to make cars more intelligent.
Bosch is expanding beyond its traditional business of providing components such as spark plugs for combustion engines and into areas such as software, services, Internet-connected devices and electric cars.
Its Mobility Solutions business, which employs 227,000 staff, generated 2016 sales of 43.9 billion euros ($49.8 billion) and is growing as customers demand cars with better safety systems and internet connectivity.
"We are growing faster than the market," Bosch management board member Rolf Bulander said in a statement on Tuesday.
By the end of 2017, Mobility Solutions will have 48,000 research and development staff, increasing its overall headcount by roughly 4,000, Bosch said.
Bosch delivers advanced safety systems to all of the world's largest automotive companies and start-up carmakers. It developed the electric powertrain and steering for Google's prototype autonomous vehicle and is a supplier of driver assistance systems to Tesla.
$1 = 0.8811 euros Reporting by Edward Taylor; Editing by Maria Sheahan