ZF will take the opportunity of UITP summit in Barcelona to showcase for the first time in Europe the CeTrax 2 dual electric central drive system for buses. It features an integrated three-speed transmission. This, “together with the system’s low weight of 385 kg, makes tackling steeper slopes and challenging topographies easier, delivering a high continuous performance of 380 kW”, ZF says.

The group will be exhibiting at UITP Global Public Transport Summit 2023 in Barcelona focusing on autonomous, connected and electrified systems.

Other news in Barcelona, the “EcoLife Health Check” module for Bus Connect platform. It marks ZF’s entry into remote diagnostics for bus fleets.

Dual drives in ZF’s future

What is interesting, at the Advanced Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo, ZF premiered its all-new AxTrax 2 electric axle platform. Series production of AxTrax 2 is planned to begin in Europe in late 2024 and in the U.S. in 2025, ZF states. What is very interesting, it will be offered in two variantsAxTrax 2 with one e-drive and AxTrax 2 dual with two integrated e-drives, being the latter a real news in ZF offer (and a rarity in the e-bus segment, with just Volvo Buses so far mounting on the 7900 Electric a 2-drive transmission).

Autonomous shuttle at UITP Summit

zf uitp summit barcelona

Also in display at UITP Summit, after having seen it at Berlin’s ElekBu, the new ZF Level 4 shuttle, which the group claims is capable to maneuver fully electric in mixed traffic without a safety steward, underlining this support for autonomous, silent and emission-free urban passenger transportation. With selectable battery capacities between 50 and 100 kWh, the next-generation shuttle can cover up to 130 km in purely electric mode. This is at an initial maximum speed of 40 km/h, with further development underway to achieve 80 km/h.

ZF will also demonstrate its new SCALAR fleet orchestration platform for AD driven vehicles. Offering fleets real-time, AI-based automated decision-making and optimization, SCALAR delivers advanced operational efficiency and can seamlessly “orchestrate” passenger transportation. In the UITP project ULTIMO, ZF’s new SCALAR platform has already been applied.

What about ZF Bus Connect?

ZF Bus Connect is ZF’s digital fleet management solution for city buses and coaches with electric, hybrid or combustion engines. It is designed to help transport companies and bus OEMs to save cost, increase safety and improve bus fleet operations based on data insights and analytics.

At UITP World Congress ZF Bus Connect is launching its brand new “EcoLife Health Check” module, which is dedicated to raise vehicle uptime. It is ZF’s entry into remote diagnostics for bus fleets. Health Check gives an indication on the actual condition of the transmission based on data from the transmission system itself (engine speed, gear step, oil temperature, oil pressures, etc.). As the data is collected online, there is no need any more to call the investigated bus back into the depot for analysis. Operators, who make best possible use of the transmission oil, as an example, can avoid early maintenance and thus reduce maintenance cost and increase uptime.

zf uitp summit barcelona

By default, ZF Bus Connect provides many additional features to optimize driving, avoid dangerous situations, optimize energy or fuel consumption, overlook battery charging status as well as break or other systems’ wear in an ITxPT compatible way.

A Collision Mitigation System (CMS) for city buses

ZF will also present its first Collision Mitigation System (CMS) specifically designed for city buses (it was announced one year ago). The pioneering system offers active braking to help mitigate or even avoid the impending collision with other road users. Building on ZF’s extensive safety systems expertise, ZF’s City Bus CMS draws on its latest OnGuardMAX technology for heavy trucks – with specific features and functionalities that are tailored to city bus applications.

Combining the data from its state-of-the-art camera and radar provides continuous analysis of the traffic situation. If an impending collision is detected, the system can issue a Forward Collision Warning (FCW) and automatically apply the brakes to help mitigate or even avoid a collision. Combined with ZF’s advanced braking capabilities that are calibrated with the vehicle’s speed and weight, the adverse effects of sudden braking on passengers can also be minimized. With seamless interaction between ZF’s ADAS and braking system, brake pressure is carefully applied across the braking cascade making unsecured passengers less likely to be jolted and put off-balance.

Last but not least, ZF will also demonstrate its EcoLife 2 automatic transmission. With EcoLife 2, further fuel savings of up to three percent can be achieved for buses compared with previous generation transmission. At the same time, the new design is more lightweight, robust and easier to maintain. Modern features include a stop-start capability for all model variants, a rolling function as well as fast, yet gentler and more comfortable, gear switching. The transmission control has many new functions and ZF has also expanded the range of applications. It now provides EcoLife 2 variants that are suitable for coaches up to 2,800 Nm thanks to a slightly higher torque range. EcoLife Coachline sets a new industry benchmark in coach transmission system performance and efficiency.

Related articles

Euro Bus Expo returns in Birmingham from November 12-14, 2024

Euro Bus Expo, the UK’s biennial exhibition dedicated to buses and coaches, will return to the NEC in Birmingham from November 12-14, 2024. With 9 months to go before the show opens, organizers announce that 77 percent of the exhibition space has already been sold, reflecting the strong demand...