This year’s CES saw an array of production-ready ZF technologies that will help to make fully autonomous driving in public traffic a reality. Making its world premiere at CES is the ZF ProAI RoboThink, the most powerful AI capable supercomputer in the mobility industry. This automotive grade system, combined with ZF’s fully developed sensor suite, allows real-time analysis of and reaction to various kinds of complex traffic situations, making autonomous Mobility-as-a-service possible. Fully networked system solutions based on the ZF Cloud link the vehicle to the Internet of Things, as well as to customer applications such as payment systems or ride-hailing services. This offering is on display at CES 2019 in the form of a fully operational robo-taxi.
The cooperation with the French-based mobility provider Transdev further underscores ZF’s readiness to market and to shape Next Generation Mobility. “Today, we present our ZF ProAI RoboThink, the most powerful AI capable supercomputer in the mobility industry,” said Wolf-Henning Scheider, CEO of ZF Friedrichshafen AG. “With its unique concept in terms of flexibility, modularity and scalability this outstanding product accelerates the development of driverless vehicles as well as their ability to autonomously move people and goods.” Performance of up to 600 trillion calculation operations per second (600 teraOPS) puts the ZF ProAI RoboThink in the pole position for automotive grade central control units.
This level of computing power is designed to be capable of networking the stream of internal and external sensor data with car-to-X communication and cloud-based data input in real time, providing a platform to help safely operate a Level 4+ autonomous vehicle in virtually any kind of public traffic. This is a precondition to support the future segment of autonomous ride-hailing services from areas with predefined routes like campuses or company grounds to the significantly more complex environment of public road traffic.
In the wake of this developing trend, ZF also premiered its own software stack for new mobility concepts at the CES. This stack together with the latest ZF Pro AI and the company’s comprehensive sensor set represent a fully integrated system for driverless vehicles that can be easily adopted by the new players in the field of mobility services. The ZF ProAI RoboThink offers high-end performance that is critical for Mobility-as-a-Service solutions.
NVIDIA DRIVE Autopilot premieres on ZF ProAI. ZF’s ProAI convinced NVIDIA to name ZF as one of their preferred partners for the launch of their new Level2+ NVIDIA DRIVE AutoPilot. Since ZF’s new product’s volume production launches within the next 12 months it is the only automotive grade AI capable supercomputer that can meet NIVIDIA’s timeline for the launch of their DRIVE AutoPilot from the beginning.
ZF’s CEO Wolf-Henning Scheider explained, “We are taking advantage of the fact that ZF offers a supercomputer that is ready for volume production. Our open, flexible, modular and scalable ZF ProAI product family allows for just the right configuration of any application – for a variety of industries, and across virtually all levels of automated driving.” e.GO People Mover coming in 2019. Transdev announced as first official customer ZF’s 2019 CES presence highlights the e.GO PeopleMover, developed jointly with the German start-up e.GO Mobile and marketed through the joint venture e.GO Moove GmbH.
Production capability is now being ramped up in Germany with a target of producing five-figure numbers already in 2019. The concept and availability of the e.GO People Mover has received significant interest from mobility providers and cities worldwide. At ZF’s CES press conference, ZF and e.GO Moove GmbH had officially announced their first customer. They will be collaborating with Transdev, a leading international mobility provider with 11 million daily customers, to further develop its Mobility-as-a-Service business based on the e.GO People Mover.
Yann Leriche, CEO of Transdev North America and Head of Autonomous Transportation Systems, stated: “We are convinced that public transport will be the first place where real autonomous services will be developed and available for the general public. This partnership with ZF and e.GO is a great opportunity to enrich our existing mobility solutions with new autonomous vehicles in order to offer the best solutions to our clients.” The capabilities of ZF are reflected in the ride-hailing innovation vehicle, a fully functional technology carrier, featuring ZF’s full systems approach for Next Generation Mobility solutions.
With no steering wheel and pedals the vehicle combines leading sensor and computing power, connectivity solutions and the necessary mechatronic actuators and safety systems and thus provides the essential elements for “Ride Hailing powered by ZF.” This package represents a great opportunity especially for new automotive customers developing robo-taxis. “With vehicles like our Ride-Hailing innovation vehicle and the e.GO People-Mover, we are showing our leadership in state-of-the-art technology,” says Wolf-Henning Scheider.
“More importantly, these vehicles bring the industry several steps closer to clean, safe and affordable individual and public mobility for everyone.” With the most powerful automotive-grade supercomputer ZF ProAI backed by the advanced sensor power of ZF’s fully developed sensor set and the ZF Cloud platform, ZF has set the course to shape the Next Generation of Mobility, and is ready to provide the key elements of the individual mobility of tomorrow, today.