From the CES 2020 trade show in Las Vegas, ZF Friedrichshafen reported about its developments in the field of autonomous driving. The company explained that driving assistance functions, or Level 2+ systems, have the greatest potential for passenger cars. For commercial vehicles or urban passenger transport vehicles though, that can operate within closed areas or defined lanes, fully automated systems of Level 4 and higher can be the answer.
ZF is developing an Electronic Control Unit (ECU) for a Level 4 system, based on the ZF ProAI supercomputer, for an international commercial vehicle manufacturer; market launch is scheduled for 2024/2025.
ZF is also moving in the direction of becoming a provider of software solutions and is working with Microsoft to adapt the speed and quality of its processes, methods and solutions in software engineering, to a level comparable to that of major IT companies. Within the cooperation with Microsoft, ZF uses the Azure Cloud services and developer tools and Microsoft’s experience in agile software development.
ZF anticipated that in the future it will be also a supplier of pure software products in the automotive market, and ZF’s CEO Wolf-Henning Scheider remarked: “The mobility industry continues to undergo major changes. This is the reason why ZF, too, must continue to change, develop and drive transformation: We have to be able to convince our customers with innovations that offer them – and ultimately the end consumers – added value. And in the future, this will increasingly include software products and services.”