Friedrichshafen / Berlin. ZF has founded Car eWallet GmbH, a Berlin-based start-up, in which the company will outsource the current activities of the transaction service Car eWallet. The objective is to further develop and market the service following an initial six month collaboration with project partners IBM and UBS, which successfully concluded this spring. The service, for example, enables payments for refueling or re-charging electric cars. The electronic transaction wallet can also be used to pay for tolls, parking fees or car sharing. The first pilot projects of Car eWallet are expected to be launched as early as the second half of 2018.
Highly automated and fully autonomous driving in particular as well as electromobility will require vehicles to be connected to payment services. This is the only way in which driverless passenger cars can independently use chargeable services such as driving on toll routes, paying for parking fees or charging the battery without the presence of a driver. ZF first presented the Car eWallet service in January 2017. This provided an open automotive transaction platform for mobility-related services that will simplify technical services, digital trade and cashless payments between manufacturers, suppliers, service providers and customers. From day one, the resonance to this innovative technology has been positive.
"We are now working intensively on developing Car eWallet for market rollout," says Alexander Graf at ZF Friedrichshafen AG, who was one of the original inventors of Car eWallet and currently leads the project. "We have taken all necessary organizational steps to make this happen."
ZF has now outsourced all activities for the development and marketing of Car eWallet. In an initial financing phase, ZF will equip the start-up with seed capital; for ongoing funding, the start-up will advertise for investors. "This way, we can use the agility of the start-up scene where many innovative approaches can be developed more freely and quickly than within a corporate structure," explains Graf.
In spring, the temporary cooperation between ZF and the previous collaboration partners, the technology company IBM and the global bank UBS, had ended after successfully concluding the project phase.
Alexander Graf adds: "We will maintain the technological connection to ZF and its product portfolio and at the same time, open up Car eWallet to many other users from the entire mobility industry as well as financial service providers." By doing this, Car eWallet GmbH is proof of ZF Friedrichshafen AG's changing working methods within networked eco-systems.