ZF partners with StreetScooter developer to build autonomous e-vans
E-commerce is booming, cities are banning diesel and people need cheap and convenient transport. That is why ZF believes the electric van and minibus market will boom over the next years - so strongly that it invests in a joint venture with e.Go Mobile, the company that helped to develop StreetScooter for Deutsche Post DHL. The JV has been baptised e.Go Moove GmbH and is based in Aachen.
Once the technology and legislation is ready, their product – called e.Go Mover – could become autonomous, making it especially interesting for mobility providers. The e.GO Mover is part of an entire digital logistics offering including hardware, software and services, highlighting ZF’s strategic orientation.
1 million units by 2024
Series production will begin in Aachen in 2019. The joint venture partners manufacture people and cargo movers primarily for the urban mobility needs of the future. Five-digit volumes are initially scheduled for annual production and ZF is expecting that the demand for these vehicles will reach approximately one million in the next five to seven years.
The company is equipping the e.Go Mover with electric drive systems, steering systems and brakes as well as ZF’s ProAI central computer (using artificial intelligence) and sensors which enable automated driving functions.
ZF's CEO Wolf-Henning Scheider clearly sees the benefits for commercial vehicles when it comes to introducing autonomous systems.
"Initially, we expect to see automated driving activities more commonplace on company premises and logistics depots, in harbours or in agricultural environments as operations there tend to be more recurrent and the surroundings are not too complex.”
The technology is also expected to prevail in freight logistics and passenger transport because it can reduce operating costs and at the same time help to increase safety for all road users. As a supplier for passenger cars, trucks, buses, light commercial vehicles, agricultural applications and construction machinery, ZF is in the optimal position to create synergies between these areas.
Pictured: Wolf-Henning Scheider, CEO of ZF Friedrichshafen AG, and Dr. Günther Schuh, CEO of e.GO Mobile AG © ZF, 2018