ZF shows platform concept for electric city vehicles

January 09, 2017 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
The large-scale industrial manufacturing of electric vehicles is coming closer. Automotive tier one supplier ZF AG is introducing a platform concept for electric vehicles at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit. The concept could enable innovative urban vehicles for passenger and for cargo transport likewise.

The company is currently in a transformation process from a heavily mechanics-oriented manufacturer of clutches, transmission boxes and undercarriage systems to system provider for electronically-controlled mechanic systems. Therefore, ZF is expanding its activities along the entire functional chain from sensors to electronic controls and actuators. Its recent investment into Ibeo Automotive Systems GmbH gives ZF access to the Lidar sensor technology. To process the data from all these sensors as well as from V2X connectivity, the company recently introduced a Deep Learning platform developed along with graphics and AI chip vendor Nvidia.

The Human-machine interaction in the car is another field where ZF is performing significant R&D activities: An interactive yet button-less steering wheel ensures safe interaction between passengers and vehicle during automated driving phases. Even the seat belts will be integral part of the HMI, according to ZF’s developments.

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