ZF shows logistics solutions at IAA 2018
With the headline “Smart Logistics” at IAA 2018, ZF showcased its technologies and solutions for the logistics chain.
Wolf-Henning Scheider, CEO of ZF Friedrichshafen AG, said: “We are revolutionizing the 'last mile' so that packages can be delivered more cleanly, safely and on time. For this reason, we are working together with partners and customers to further develop our concept ready for series production within the next two years.
"In order to quickly offer the market our systems expertise in the form of innovative and practical solutions, we will be investing more than €12 billion in e-mobility and autonomous driving alone over the next five years.
“Despite current challenges in the markets and increased spending for developing new technologies, ZF remains on course. We will achieve our goals for the current year which include our revenue targets, investment increases and reducing debt,” continued Scheider.
ZF’s Innovation Van is the company's version of how intelligent networking, autonomous driving, and an all-electric drive support parcel delivery services meet the requirements of the future—especially the rising delivery volumes and the demand for individual delivery. ZF’s innovation van is based on its high-speed super computer ProAI, as well as its sensor set consisting of camera, radar, and LiDAR.
The all-electric delivery truck is equipped with level 4 autonomous driving functions and is designed to independently maneuver through city centers, stay in its lane even if without road markings, recognize both traffic lights and road signs, and react to sudden hazardous situations. In addition, the Innovation Van can detect and drive around obstacles such as double-parked vehicles. The FollowMe function—which utilizes a tablet-based remote control—is designed to help drivers if two addresses are close enough that it makes more sense for the delivery driver to stay on foot. The function allows the Innovation Van to follow the driver as if on a virtual leash. In addition, if there is no parking available at a certain address, the driver can send the vehicle ahead to the next stop where it will look for a parking space on its own. This will also help to avoid traffic jams in future caused by delivery trucks which are often double parked.
ZF’s two latest world premieres—the Innovation Truck and the Terminal Yard Tractor—show how the company is responding to key freight challenges. These vehicles can autonomously maneuver swap bodies, trailers, and containers. The driverless, maneuverable vehicle functions aim to improve efficiency, speed, and environmental friendliness at depots, company terminal yards, and container ports. On top of that, the company says they can help to reduce accidents and property damage. Such vehicles can also help address a skilled worker shortage in the logistics industry, according to ZF.
“Driverless transport vehicles and automated functions will play a significant role particularly in zoned areas like company terminal yards, forwarding company depots or air and sea ports,” said Scheider. “In the near future, we will be seeing more autonomous vehicles in such zoned areas faster than on public roads. The cost, safety and efficiency benefits for customers will make a difference here.”
As a response to international requests for quotations for electrically powered buses, ZF says it has received orders for more than 1000 of its AxTrax AVE electric portal axles.
The company added that it is also accelerating the electrification of the drive in other commercial vehicle segments. For example, it has received a volume-production order for its new CeTrax electric central drive, which it says is suitable for both buses and trucks, for deployment in shunting vehicles. The electric axle drive system for light commercial vehicles will go into volume production in mid-2019. A field test with the TraXon hybrid commercial vehicle transmission, which was jointly conducted by ZF and DAF, demonstrated the benefits of electrification in heavy trucks. With all-electric maneuvering as well as numerous hybrid functionalities, a potential fuel saving of between 5-7% can be achieved.