ZF autonomous shuttle was presented to Trudy Harrison, UK Parliamentary Under Secretary for Transport and Isobel Pastor, Head of the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV) at the Department for Transport (DfT) in late February.

ZF says it «has accelerated the development of shuttle technology through the collaboration of internal Research & Development teams with strong and impactful business partnerships. Supporting this development with local full-service infrastructure, ZF has successfully proven that the vision of sustainable Next Generation Mobility is no longer just ‘a vision’ but an achievable goal».

ZF Shuttle, an autonomous bus solution

The ZF Shuttle is an autonomous transport solution that helps governments and passenger transport organizations meet safety and sustainability goals and facilitates the connection of rural areas to urban centres. ZF’s goal «is to relieve the congestion in inner cities and make local public transport emission-free».

ZF’s ADAS and AD business includes the fusion of sensor technologies, the systems expertise to deliver advanced functions with the necessary computing power provided by the ZF ProAI High Performance Controller. Opensource operating software at the ASIL-D level combined with automotive grade components provides the highest levels of safety. Teams at ZF Hub UK played a pivotal role in the Shuttle development in the areas of AI and Radar, together with the global R&D team and external partners.

ZF’s next generation shuttle utilizes a virtual driver allowing the vehicle to operate in designated lanes or in open traffic. This technological advance has been developed with our strategic partner, British high-tech startup, Oxbotica and the ZF Shuttle is now capable of manoeuvring at Autonomous Level 4.

Having years of experience already in operating shuttles in The Netherlands and Belgium, ZF’s Autonomous Transport Systems team provides a full turn-key solution. ZF Mobility Solutions manages the planning and implementation of services while global ZF Aftermarket teams can support servicing requirements.

ZF Autonomous Driving system

Chris Adcock, Head of Europe – Business Line Industrial and New Mobility at ZF explained that “We recognise that transport requirements are constantly changing and expanding and have therefore developed a system with our autonomous shuttle that eases the pressure on urban districts and connects rural areas more conveniently.”

Commenting after the presentation, Transport Minister Trudy Harrison said: “It was brilliant to visit ZF and see first-hand their work on impressive, cutting-edge technology: “Self-driving technology will play a huge role in the future of UK transport and has the power to reform the way we get ourselves and goods from A to B, while also improving road safety by reducing accidents involving human error. Companies like ZF are leading the way in the green transport revolution, helping us step closer to our zero-emission targets while supporting economic growth and new job opportunities in the region”.

A ‘Lighthouse’ project at ZF, Software is central to the vehicle and its functionality. Our AD System is based on automotive graded components. The SW stack is a unique combination of a performance path integrated from Oxbotica and a ZF safety path for high safety standards. “All data is held in the Cloud and running AI creates improvements for infrastructure and supports the creation of Smart-Cities, where a vehicle can identify traffic situations and choose the best possible routes to follow – or to avoid”, said Peter Lakie, Senior Vice President at ZF Hub UK. “All software is integrated into our ZF ProAI supercomputer which provides the computing power to run the autonomous shuttle systems”.

“At ZF, we don’t want to wait; and we don’t want to make people wait for what they need in next generation mobility. That’s why we’ll provide everything it needs for running an autonomous shuttle system. From A to Z – from the planning, implementation to service and maintenance. We’re offering a turnkey solution that’s available now,” said Torsten Gollewski, Head of Autonomous Transport Solutions at ZF.


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