ZF says it forecasts there will be 1.5m new vehicles in the next five years encompassing technologies enabling ride hailing for example and other CASE trends.

Speaking at its technology day on the sidelines of this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, the German supplier outlined how it was looking to marry its increasingly powerful technology with OEM portfolio demands.

“Within the next five years we expect at least 1.5m new vehicles providing new mobility services worldwide,” said ZF CEO, Wolf-Henning Scheider at the technology day overlooking towering mountains near the Nevada city.

“You can experience ride hailing in our vehicle which features our complete systems approach to this segment. [Also] with the e.Go Moove, [which] will come to the market this year. We are not talking about powerpoints – we talking about real life.”

The e.Go Moove joint venture partner manufactures people and cargo movers primarily for the urban mobility needs of the future. Five-digit volumes are initially scheduled for annual production and ZF is expecting demand for these vehicles will reach around 1m in the next five to seven years.

The company is equipping the e.Go Moove with electric drive systems, steering systems and brakes as well as ZF’s ProAI central computer and sensors which enable automated driving functions.

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By GlobalData

“The automotive industry is in change right now and this gives a lot of opportunities,” added Scheider. “We have increased our R&D spending [and] have set a clear set of guidelines in our strategy. We call [it] next generation mobility – it is the new path of ZF.

“It is our vision to create enjoyable mobility and keep [a] safe and affordable future. Based on our core competencies, our approach includes solutions for micro-mobility, urban mobility and mid and long-range mobility.

“In electric mobility and automatic driving we will invest EUR12bn (US$14bn) during the next five years.”

At CES 2019, ZF presented the latest model of its automotive supercomputer. Drawing on functions of the ZF IoT Platform and connected with ZF sensors such as radar, LiDAR, and cameras, the ZF ProAI RoboThink enables autonomous driving up to level 4/5 and mobility services such as ride-hailing.

Also at CES, ZF showed its steering wheel and pedal-free robo-taxi to illustrate how its technologies enable new forms of urban mobility. Users can hail the taxi using their smartphone or tablet and it will manoeuvrer autonomously to pick them up. It can then chauffeur them to where they wish to go.

The supplier had cordoned off a large area near to Old Vegas where the robo-taxi featured various destinations options programmed on board such as airport, hotel, school, shopping mall etc. After selecting various options, the robo-taxi drove autonomously to the destination specified, braking and turning as required.

Networked systems link vehicles to the cloud With the robo-taxi, ZF is demonstrating it can provide solutions for the development of robo-vehicles and related services. In line with the company’s ‘see, think, act’ philosophy, the ZF range of sensors helps enable the demo vehicle to precisely detect its surroundings.

ZF ProAI RoboThink, the supercomputer for autonomous driving is designed to process the vast amount of sensor data, translate it into a coherent picture and derive the right commands for the vehicle.

These commands are then implemented by connected ZF systems which enable vehicle motion control and enhanced safety, including chassis, drive, steering system, brakes or occupant safety systems.