ZF talks autonomous driving future: CES

German transmission specialist, ZF Friedrichshafen, presented its vision for automated driving system solutions for commercial vehicles and passenger cars at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) held in Las Vegas, US, earlier this month.

ZF aims to deliver automated and autonomous driving technologies to drive better safety, efficiency and comfort outcomes for vehicle operators.

Intelligent assistance functions such as Level 2+ systems are reported to have the greatest potential for passenger cars whereas fully automated systems of Level 4 and higher will likely become established in commercial vehicles and urban passenger transport. This is said to be proven by new orders which ZF has received from car and commercial vehicle manufacturers.

ZF is positioning itself to be an attractive partner for realising automated and autonomous driving for a wide range of applications.

“ZF already offers complete systems at different price and performance levels and is active in all relevant fields of application with passenger cars, commercial vehicles, and industrial technology,” said ZF CEO, Wolf-Henning Scheider.

The company has scaled its broad technology offering to meet virtually any requirement.

“In the case of commercial vehicles, we are already seeing strong demand for systems that make fully automated driving to Level 4 and higher possible,” said Scheider.

While the use of fully automated passenger cars in public transport still depends on regulations, according to ZF, commercial vehicles can already operate in highly automated modes within closed areas or defined lanes. In addition, driverless transport at depots or in urban passenger transport offers savings potential that leads to a rapid amortisation of system costs.

Based on the ZF ProAI supercomputer, ZF is currently developing the Electronic Control Unit (ECU) for a Level 4 system for an international commercial vehicle manufacturer. The market launch is scheduled for 2024/25.

In related news, Gary Shapiro – President and CEO, Consumer Technology Association (CTA) – presented a keynote speech on Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao’s announcement of AV 4.0 at CES 2020.

“CES is the showplace for vehicle tech innovation, and we’re thrilled Secretary Chao announced AV 4.0 on our keynote stage,” he said.

“Self-driving technology is the future of mobility—making our roads safer and improving mobility for seniors and the disabled.

“Our industry must continue to work with government to ensure the success and adoption of self-driving vehicles. The partnership between the White House and US Department of Transportation is proof government is prioritising the adoption of self-driving technology. We look forward to our continued work together on policies that enable this technology to thrive.”

AV 4.0, a set of guiding policy principles for self-driving technology, is a first-ever partnership between the Department of Transportation and the White House.

Last year, ZF announced a merger with technology company, WABCO, as part of a €7 billion deal.

(Image: ZF CEO, Wolf-Henning Scheider.)

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