Friedrichshafen, Germany/Brussels, Belgium. ZF’s autonomous shuttle wins the Innovation Award from CLEPA, the European automotive supplier association, in the Connectivity and Automation category. CLEPA has recognized ZF’s new mobility concept as a clean, safe, and on-demand local transport solution that is ready for implementation now. The system has been extensively tested: In various projects worldwide, the vehicles have already covered more than 100 million kilometers autonomously and carried more than 14 million passengers – without safety drivers. This reduces costs and makes the shuttles operational 24 hours a day.
Whether transport operators, manufacturers, or suppliers, the mobility industry faces numerous and fundamental challenges. One of the greatest is the urgent need to reduce CO2 emissions in the fight against climate change. In addition, city centers are overcrowded, and more and more motorized vehicles occupy public space. It is necessary to reduce the number of vehicles to avert constant traffic congestion and to use these spaces in urban areas more effectively.
Another factor is the inadequate connection of suburbs and rural areas to urban centers. ZF can support municipalities and transport authorities in the project planning and implementation of shuttle systems for their respective areas as well as in the service and maintenance of autonomous shuttles.
“With its holistic autonomous transport system, ZF offers an effective solution to these challenges,” says Torsten Gollewski, Head of Autonomous Mobility Systems at ZF. “ZF offers all aspects of autonomous driving systems: sensors, software, and high-performance computers as well as the actuators needed for precisely accelerating, braking and steering the vehicle. This is how we contribute to enhanced road safety. We have mastered the technological challenge of self-driving shuttles with a fully redundant Level 4 vehicle – based on automotive graded components.”
ZF now offers a European mobility solution that meets international standards. ZF shuttles are already available today and are able to operate in urban traffic at up to 40 km/h, which is faster than the average speed in major European cities. A network of electrically powered, driverless shuttles, with on-demand scheduling and seamless connection to other public transport systems such as buses and trains, represents a true alternative to privately owned cars. These vehicles can even be operated economically on less busy routes – and for longer as well. The electric shuttles protect the environment and can provide enhanced air quality.
Every year, the European association CLEPA recognizes outstanding innovations from the entire ecosystem of automotive suppliers. In addition to the connectivity and automation category, an international expert jury recognizes awards in the areas of cooperation, environment, and safety. Last year, ZF received the CLEPA Innovation Award for its environmental friendly eTrailer, a prototype semitrailer with integrated electric drive. In 2017, WABCO and ZF won an innovation award for their jointly developed Evasive Maneuver Assist for commercial vehicles.