Manufacturing company, ZF Friedrichshafen, has opened its expanded Erich Reinecke test track in Jeversen, Germany.
The test track, following an investment of around €18 million, is reported to advance ZF's commercial vehicle testing capabilities.
Leveraging ZF’s recent acquisition of WABCO, the expanded facility will play an even greater role in the testing and development of new solutions and technologies to help drive the commercial vehicle industry’s vision of an autonomous, connected and electric future.
The test track has a new 3.6km oval circuit which incorporates a mix of curves and straight sections to replicate a wide range of road conditions to simulate real-life highway driving conditions. Significantly advancing ZF’s testing capabilities, it will support the development of advanced technologies including lane departure systems, traffic jam assistants and highway pilots up to autonomous driving.
The extended facility also includes a new state-of-the-art 1,000-square-metre project and customer centre as well as two additional truck halls.
“Leveraging the recent acquisition of WABCO, this investment underlines ZF's focus on developing and testing technologies such as autonomous driving and e-mobility even faster for our customers in line with the Group strategy 'Next Generation Mobility',” said Wilhelm Rehm, Member of the Board of Management of ZF Friedrichshafen AG with responsibility for Commercial Vehicle Technology, Industrial Technology, Materials Management. “This unique test track consolidates ZF's position as a global technology leader and offers exactly those extensive dynamic test possibilities which are necessary to fully exploit the growth opportunities for our company in the commercial vehicle segment.”
“The expansion of the test track in Jeversen by the ZF Group is of great importance for the research and development of vehicle systems for automated and networked driving,” said Dr. Bernd Althusmann, Lower Saxony's Minister of Economics, Labour, Transport, and Digitalisation. “ZF's Commercial Vehicle Control Systems division is developing complex assistance systems for commercial vehicles there and thus contributes to realising the vision of future autonomous, connected, and electrified driving. As this investment clearly demonstrates, in the mobility state of Lower Saxony we are focusing on advanced future technologies and innovative solutions which will help pave the way for tomorrow's mobility.”
“The expanded and modernised test track offers us the necessary capacity to significantly expand the development and testing of cutting-edge technologies,” said Dr Christian Brenneke, Senior Vice President Product Engineering with ZF's Commercial Vehicle Control Systems Division. “Today [25 August 2020], the test track already plays a central role for our innovative systems that make trucks, buses and trailers safer and more efficient. As we increasingly focus on autonomous, networked and electrified vehicles, the growing complexity of the systems we develop requires ever more advanced test and validation capacities. The extension of our test track enables us to test innovative driver assistance systems up to fully automated driving and mobility concepts.”
“In addition to setting new standards for a progressive and forward-looking test environment, the test track expansion represents a clear and significant further commitment by ZF to the region and to Germany as a research and development hub,” added Alexander Rohde, Managing Director and Track Project Leader, with ZF’s Commercial Vehicle Control Systems division.
The test track is named after Erich Reinecke, a former WABCO Vice President of Group Engineering, who died in 2008. During his career, Reinecke played a major role in the development and market launch of a multitude of electronic control systems for commercial vehicles.
(Image: Wilhelm Rehm, Member of the Board of Management of ZF Friedrichshafen AG with responsibility for Commercial Vehicle Technology, Industrial Technology, Materials Management, Dr. Bernd Althusmann, Lower Saxony's Minister for Economy, Labor, Transport, and Digitalisation, and Dr Christian Brenneke, Senior Vice President Product Engineering in ZF's Commercial Vehicle Control Systems Division at the opening of ZF's expanded Erich Reinecke test track in Jeversen near Hanover.)