Wabco Holdings has signed an agreement to acquire RH Sheppard Co., a supplier of commercial vehicle technologies, including vehicle steering capabilities, such as active steering technology.

Full dynamic control of vehicles is necessary to achieve an autonomous truck and Sheppard’s active steering system is an important piece in Wabco’s advance toward self-driving vehicles. Active steering could complement Wabco’s other dynamic control technologies of active braking, stability control, and suspension control.

“This acquisition represents another key milestone as Wabco advances toward enabling self-driving commercial vehicles,” said Jacques Esculier, Wabco chairman and  CEO. “We have a clear line of sight on the fundamental technologies – such as active steering, active braking, electronic stability control and other advanced driver assistance systems – which will enable significant intermediary steps on our industry’s path to realize fully autonomous driving.”

Sheppard also offers a suite of power-steering gears for heavy-duty commercial and specialty vehicles and also provides engine pumps and remanufacturing services.

Wabco’s purchase price is $145 million and the transaction is subject to U.S. regulatory clearance. The deal is expected to close by the end of this year's third quarter.