ZF realigns its shuttle business due to slower-than-expected AD market development
It will no longer pursue the goal of facilitating entire autonomous transportation systems, including shuttles and their fleet management; will focus on position as a premium supplier for autonomous driving technology.
Technology company ZF has changed its business model for the global shuttle business and will now focus on being a leading technology supplier for autonomous driving. The company has decided to no longer pursue the goal of facilitating entire autonomous transportation systems, including shuttles and their fleet management.
Instead, the strategic focus and allocation of funds will shift to providing engineering services to customers and further developing the building blocks needed to advance autonomous driving. Existing partnerships and projects relating to the GRT shuttle will be continued as well as ZF Aftermarket activities.
With the market developing slower than anticipated, and at a time where the persisting multi-crisis and the ongoing transformation towards E-Mobility requires stringent cost focus in the entire industry, the foreseeable high up-front investments are no longer justified.
Having evaluated all options, ZF has concluded that the most promising strategy for the future is to focus on positioning ZF as a premium supplier of autonomous driving technology and engineering services.
ZF is a premium supplier for AD technology
ZF states that it “will maintain the original position as a supplier to OEMs while continuing to develop the technologies needed to build autonomous transportation systems and advanced passenger cars with assisted and self-driving capabilities. In addition, ZF will market the Group’s unique expertise in systems solutions by offering valuable and highly sought-after development services to customers in the automotive and mobility industry.
In the future ZF enables both OEMs and providers of new mobility systems with its strong portfolio of components and software solutions and offer its capable development services as a booster for customers’ R&D activities. This redirection away from facilitating entire shuttles will also allow ZF to better focus on its core technologies and serve its OEM customers in the passenger car, commercial vehicle, and industrial space. ZF will continue to be a strong enabler of ‘Next Generation Mobility’ by providing OEMs with a unique offering.
Today, automated and autonomous functions have found their way into all vehicle categories, where they make a significant contribution to greater safety, efficiency, and comfort. The technical basis for these functions is provided by ZF, which has developed a strong portfolio of advanced sensors, high-performance computers, special software solutions, and intelligent actuators over the past years.
Continuation of existing partnerships and projects
Existing partnerships and projects with the GRT shuttle for operation in separated lanes will continue as before. This shuttle model from ZF subsidiary 2getthere is already being used successfully in projects such as Rivium in the Netherlands and will continue to be produced and sold by US license partner Oceaneering in the future. Projects such as RABus for researching automated bus operation in the two German cities of Mannheim and Friedrichshafen is important for the new business model and is also indented to be implemented as planned.
ZF will also continue its aftermarket activities for autonomous vehicle fleets and offers services like maintenance, repair and training.
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