ZF, Oxbotica team for driverless shuttles

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

German automotive Tier One ZF has signed a strategic partnership agreement with UK software developer Oxbotica to develop a Level 4 self-driving system and taken a 5 percent stake.

The system will initially be used in full autonomous, self-driving passenger shuttles in major cities around the world next year.

Oxbotica raised $47m earlier this year to continue the development of its hardware and sensor independent software, and will develop the Level 4 self-driving system with ZF for integration into various vehicles including goods transportation vehicles in urban environments as well as Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) on-demand shuttles.

The autonomous shuttle market will grow substantially over the next 10 years with the potential to increase access to mobility, improve road safety, reduce congestion, and boost productivity. Autonomous shuttles are already rolling out in cities such as Hamburg, and this is expected to grow substantially in 2022 as various trials turn into commercial services. As a result Tier One providers are looking to ensure their supply chain of driverles technology. 

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As part of the collaboration, global automotive technology company, ZF has invested in Oxbotica and will take a seat on the company’s advisory board with a five per cent share. The two companies started working together in 2019, with Oxbotica completing integration of its autonomous vehicle software with ZF’s ProAI, an AI capable automotive-grade compute platform, and ZF’s Full-Range Radar.

Ahead of the autonomous shuttle deployments, ZF and Oxbotica will work closely together to continue to develop the technology and on validation and verification of the integrated self-driving vehicle system.

“The entry investment of five per cent underlines our confidence in Oxbotica’s capabilities. Together with Oxbotica, we are developing self-driving systems for autonomous people and cargo mover addressing the current challenges in public transport and logistics,” says Torsten Gollewski, Executive Vice President, Autonomous Mobility Systems at ZF.

Paul Newman, co-founder and CTO of Oxbotica said: “Partnering with ZF in developing an on-road passenger and goods transportation solution is an important milestone in Oxbotica’s commercial autonomy strategy. Our product will bring new options to cities and transport operators around the globe who must solve the complex mobility challenges of the future. The way people and goods move is changing.”

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