Shaping Change

Challenges and opportunities of the future

Digitalization is bringing about rapid change in our society and business world. Seldom has that change been as radical or dynamic as now. This is especially true in the automotive industry. In 2013, computers around the world generated a data volume of roughly 230 million terabytes. According to estimates, this unbelievable volume will reach more than one billion terabytes by 2020, almost five times as much as now.

Bits and bytes are also redefining business and commerce. The Internet of Things will impact the production of future industrial products and consumer goods from many sectors even more so than now. This development is shaping how people live and interact with one another. Currently, more than half of the world’s population lives in big cities; by 2050, it will be more than two-thirds. This will have a far-reaching impact on people’s quality of life. Today’s air pollution levels in big cities are already revealing the limits of a mobile society that depends on combustion engines. Moreover, CO2 emissions are accelerating climate change. These developments have alarmed legislators, resulting in global climate change agreements that influence both national and domestic regulations to limit emissions. In general, society expects to receive answers to urgent questions like these more quickly – and gets them. When it comes to mobility, such answers are coming from established and new players in an automotive industry adapting to these megatrends. One visible sign of this is electromobility, or, more specifically, zero local emissions mobility. Other trends range from increasing connectedness and automated driving to autonomous driving, which can significantly increase safety.

Global Climate: Continuous climate warming

Reducing emissions is still an important social responsibility. It mitigates climate change and increases the air quality in cities. As such, legislators are writing stricter and stricter guidelines. That’s why the use of emission-reducing technology is attractive. If you take the average temperature between 1951 and 1980 as a baseline, you will notice that there has since been a clear rise in temperatures.

Digitalization Rising connectedness between human and machine

A refrigerator that orders replenishments itself is just one of many visions of the future in an increasingly connected world. And it is coming! A long-established component of industry and materials management, the Internet of Things, is now about to make a leap into the daily lives of people.

Read more on how ZF is changing

Further information

Annual report


At a Glance