Friedrichshafen / Klettwitz. ZF shows next generation mobility solutions at the forthcoming IAA. The Group is extending its product portfolio to include more attractive solutions for the mobility of the future with a product offensive for hybrid and electric vehicles, active chassis systems, integrated safety, and automated driving. By doing this, ZF is shifting its focus towards end users’ mobility wishes, as highlighted by the #MobilityLifeBalance campaign, which discusses the current imbalance between promised and real-life mobility.
The technology group’s strategic direction aims at a better, more sustainable mobility offering. ZF is highlighting this with a product offensive for vehicle technology. “The things we’re developing are helping us provide a better, more sustainable mobility offering,” says Wolf-Henning Scheider, Chief Executive Officer of ZF Friedrichshafen AG. “The aim is claim, safe mobility, automated, comfortable and affordable. For everyone, anywhere, at any time. We will only achieve this if we continue to actively convince the market with innovations.”
Purely electric as well as hybrid
ZF is pursuing two directions in electromobility. It is laying the foundation for a new breed of battery-electric vehicles with its new 8-speed automatic gearbox for plug-in hybrids. The new hybrid system enables high performance powered by electricity only. It represents an equally effective alternative to purely battery-powered vehicles in certain application scenarios. Given sufficient battery capacity, vehicle manufacturers can use this to offer their customers ‘EVplus’ – a battery-electric car that has a combustion engine for longer journeys and when more performance is needed. A modular system of building blocks provides manufacturers with full flexibility. This is in demand: With Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) nominating ZF as global supplier for automatic transmissions, another internationally renowned OEM has decided in favor of the latest generation 8-speed transmission. The supply to BMW has been already announced in April.
Two-speed electric drive increases efficiency and range
In parallel with its hybrid drive, ZF is working on improving purely electric drivelines. An important step is the world premiere of its electric two-speed drive system for passenger cars. This compact concept brings together an electric motor producing a maximum output of 140 Kilowatts (190 hp), a two-stage switching element, and power electronics. This can increase the range of each battery charge by up to 5 percent compared with a single-stage drive system.
System solutions for automated driving
The ‘Flying Carpet 2.0’ predictive chassis uses comprehensive sensors and smart algorithms to control suspension, braking, and steering systems. This largely decouples the vehicle superstructure from road unevenness and the dynamic effects of driving. As well as more comfort, it means better handling and safety. Comfort is key, especially in the development of fully automatic and autonomous driving, because it means that time spent in a vehicle can be used for activities such as reading and relaxing.
ZF’s unique proposition of allowing vehicles to see, think, and act, makes it an attractive provider of system solutions for automated driving. Its comprehensive complete systems include sensors and the ZF ProAI central computer in a range of performance levels. This makes ZF solutions scalable, flexible, and adaptable to a variety of market segments. That in turn allows car manufacturers to comply with the basic requirements of Euro NCAP 2022. And as ZF coPilot, it allows automated driving functions at SAE Level 2+. ZF ProAI RoboThink is a high-performance version for people movers and cargo movers that enables Levels 4 and 5 – in other words, autonomous driving. By acquiring WABCO, ZF aims to be able to provide complete automated driving systems for commercial vehicles as well.
ZF launches #MobilityLifeBalance campaign
The Group has also launched the #MobilityLifeBalance initiative. It uses a wealth of facts to demonstrate how today’s traffic reality has gone out of balance with consumers’ mobility requirements. And it shows how technical solutions can help restore that balance.