ZF highlights progression toward automated driving

3 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineJanuary 28, 2020

Automated and autonomous driving are important technologies in helping make the traffic of the future safer, more efficient and more comfortable. Depending on the application, the market demands different solutions: For the time being, intelligent assistance functions, so-called Level 2+ systems, have the greatest potential for passenger cars. In contrast, fully automated systems of level 4 and higher will likely become established in commercial vehicles and urban passenger transport. This is proven by new orders that ZF has received from car and commercial vehicle manufacturers.

ZF is an attractive partner when it comes to the realisation of automated and autonomous driving in 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, speaking at the 2020 CES.

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

“With ZF coASSIST, we are making a Level 2+ system for the first time, with safety and comfort functions familiar from the luxury class that can be achieved for inexpensive vehicle segments,” said Scheider.

ZF received a major order from a renowned Asian car manufacturer to supply the coASSIST Level 2+ entry-level system for passenger cars from the end of 2020. ZF‘s scope of supply includes system and software development, as well as sensor technology and central electronic control unit.

“For passenger cars, we see the greatest potential in Level 2+ concepts for implementing automated driving functions and making them accessible to all drivers,” said Scheider.

“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,” he said.

While the use of fully automated passenger cars in public transport still depends on regulations, 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, with a market launch scheduled for 2024/25.