ZF: Cleaner, Safer, and Efficient Commercial Transportation

By Oliver Freeman
ZF is currently poised to be the industry leader in tech-enhanced commercial vehicles, with the addition of WABCO’s capabilities...

In a world where CO2 emissions and the reduction of fossil fuel dependence are daily topics in magazines, newspapers, and governmental debate, some automotive companies are making leaps and bounds to assist the world in making a smooth transition to the idealised norm of carbon efficiency and a healthier planet. ZF is just one of many, but they happen to be on the verge of becoming the leading technology partner to the commercial vehicle industry with some assistance from, recently acquired, WABCO’s capabilities. 

The company is already playing a pivotal role in the industry, and they’re pushing hard to drive motorised vehicles towards a sustainable, connected, and safer future, through the technological advancements of the 21st century. Arguably, ZF is at the forefront of bringing cutting-edge, next-generation vehicle automation and digital connectivity─through IoT─to the world. 

ZF has one ambition: to reduce carbon emissions whilst simultaneously developing a product and systems portfolio that enables intelligent commercial vehicles ─ most notably, “an industry-first autonomous trailer coupling function and energy-saving truck-trailer combination.” 

The introduction of ZF’s initiatives to the market isn’t just a case of a “wanted” product; what ZF is working on is a necessity in Europe, as European Union (EU) policymakers look to reduce all commercial vehicle carbon emissions by 15 percent by 2025, and on to 30 percent by 2030. The challenge is one that all vehicle manufacturers will struggle with, but ZF intends to take the reigns on this initiative and is fast-becoming the new best friend and invaluable partner to the commercial vehicle industry. 

The commercial vehicle industry, right now, is in need of new electric drive trains in buses and trucks, and there’s an exponentially growing demand for a myriad of electric vehicles and adaptive equipment. The European Union also expects new driver assistance systems from 2022, and just two years later, they expect advanced blind-spot warning systems to be installed in every new car. All of which, ZF intends to provide ─ especially now that they’ve integrated WABCO’s leading advanced driving assistance and fuel-efficiency systems into their existing technology range. The company now features “a complete and unique product portfolio for trucks, buses and trailers OEMs as well as fleets.”  

“WABCO is a perfect strategic match for ZF and has enabled us to accelerate our global leadership as a future-oriented, full-range technology supplier and systems integrator serving the commercial vehicle industry,” said Fredrik Staedtler, head of ZF’s Commercial Vehicle Control Systems Division.

“With a clear aim of making mobility and transport cleaner, safer and efficient, we are mobilising commercial vehicle intelligence to support customers worldwide. Just four months after acquiring WABCO, we have made substantial progress in implementing new development projects bringing together our significant combined system competencies.”

“When it comes to transformative solutions for the next generation of commercial vehicles, we are at full speed,” added Andreas Moser, Head of ZF’s Commercial Vehicle Technology Division. “As a result, we can highlight new innovations such as the fuel-saving truck-trailer prototype, designed for energy-efficient driving. It combines a lightweight design and aerodynamics with optimised chassis space offering major benefits for future electrification strategies.”

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