The logistics industry is overtaking the passenger car sector when it comes to the automation of driving functions. ZF recently announced it is supporting this trend with innovative concepts and major investments. For example, commercial vehicles that are intelligently connected thanks to production-ready ZF technology and equipped with autonomous driving functions capable of independently performing all logistics tasks or assisting package delivery drivers.
Autonomous delivery trucks will make package deliveries along the “last mile” more efficient – which will in the future help to deal with rising delivery volumes while reducing traffic in city centers. E-mobility and autonomous driving are strategically very important for ZF and the company intends to invest more than € 12 billion in these areas over the next five years.
ZF Innovation Van
The “last mile” in parcel logistics is an attractive use case. ZF’s Innovation Van has demonstrated how intelligent networking, autonomous driving and an all-electric drive support parcel delivery services in meeting the requirements of the future – especially the rising delivery volumes and the demand for individual delivery. At the same time, such vehicles will also help to reduce emissions and traffic in city centers. This approach has attracted interest within the industry.
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 particularly helpful for drivers.
Innovation Truck and the Terminal Yard Tractor
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 improve efficiency, speed and environmental-friendliness at depots, company terminal yards and container ports. On top of that, they can help to reduce accidents and property damage. Lastly, such vehicles can also help address the constantly growing shortage of skilled workers in the logistics industry.
ZF to electrify all commercial vehicle classes
The smart logistics approach from ZF also covers zero local emission drives for all vehicle classes. Air pollution in city centers should be considerably reduced. ZF is also accelerating the electrification of the drive in other commercial vehicle segments.