At the CES 2020, ZF shows ways to automated driving/ First major order

At the CES 2020, ZF shows ways to automated driving/ First major order

12. January 2020 0 By Horst Buchwald

At the CES 2020, ZF shows ways to automated driving/ First major order

Friedrichshafen / Las Vegas, 6-1-2020

According to ZF CEO Wolf-Henning Scheider, automated and autonomous driving will make traffic safer, more efficient, and more comfortable in the future. According to Scheider, ZF offers “complete systems with different performance levels and is active in all relevant fields of application with solutions for passenger cars, commercial vehicles, and industrial technology. It is now paying off that we have strategically adjusted to this demand in time”, emphasized Scheider at the CES 2020 in Las Vegas. As proof, he presented the major order from a renowned Asian automobile manufacturer for the delivery of the Level 2+ entry system coASSIST for passenger cars from the end of 2020.

With regard to the current market situation, ZF stated that the following solutions were in demand: For the time being, intelligent assistance functions, so-called Level 2+ systems, have the greatest potential for passenger cars. In contrast, fully automated systems according to Level 4 and higher are likely to become established in commercial vehicles and urban passenger transport. ZF came to this conclusion based on current orders from car and truck manufacturers.

The company could scale its broad technology portfolio to meet any requirement. “With ZF coASSIST, we are making a Level 2+ system with safety and comfort functions familiar from the luxury class available to more affordable vehicle segments for the first time,” explained Schneider. ZF coASSIST will be available as a complete system for well under 1,000 US dollars.

The major order includes the delivery of the Level 2+ entry-level coASSIST system for passenger cars, system and software development, environment sensors and central electronic control unit. Based on camera and radar data, the Level 2+ system enables functions such as distance control cruise control, traffic sign recognition, lane changing, lane keeping and congestion assistant.

At present, the high system costs and the as yet unclarified legal framework speak against higher levels of automation in passenger cars. In addition to coASSIST, ZF offers further, more powerful Level 2+ systems: ZF coDRIVE and ZF coPILOT.

“For commercial vehicles, on the other hand, we are already seeing a demand for systems which will make fully automated driving according to Level 4 and higher possible within a few years”, Scheider clarified. Commercial vehicles could already today drive fully automated on closed areas or delimited lanes. In addition, driverless transport at depots or in urban passenger transport offers savings potential that will lead to a rapid amortisation of system costs.

An international commercial vehicle manufacturer has placed an order with ZF for the development of the ZF ProAI RoboThink: From 2024/25 on, it is to be used as central computer of a fully automated Level 4 system in trucks.

Moreover, ZF is setting the course for faster and more comprehensive software development: Together with Microsoft, ZF will adapt the speed and quality of its processes, methods, and solutions in software engineering to the model of IT companies. This change will enable ZF to use its global resources more efficiently and to respond better to customer needs. In the cooperation with Microsoft, ZF will use the Azure Cloud services and developer tools as well as Microsoft’s experience in agile software development. In the future, ZF will also be a supplier of pure software products in the automotive market.

“The mobility industry continues to be subject to major changes. This is the reason why ZF is also continuing to change. We have to convince our customers with innovations that offer them – and ultimately the end users – added value. And in the future, these will increasingly include software products, for example,” says Scheider.

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