As the global leader in the integration of electric drive components and automotive safety, ZF is aiming for a world with zero accidents and zero emissions. Vision Zero originally started in Sweden. But to make it come true, it has to be applied everywhere – and it has now become a major topic for ZF in China.

Economic and cultural growth would be impossible without transportation of both, people and goods. And it comes in a number of dimensions: mobility is about people commuting to work as well as about goods being transported from China to Europe. But it charges a high price: Every year, 1.25 million road fatalities are to be mourned worldwide – adolescents and young adults being the most vulnerable groups.

Vision Zero is a multi-national road traffic safety project which started in Sweden, in 1997. The idea is that 'Life and health can never be exchanged for other benefits within the society'. As an ethics-based approach, it defines a direction, rather than setting particular goals or targets.

For ZF, Vision Zero has an additional aspect, because there is yet another invoice item on the mobile society bill: Pollution caused by combustion engines has a significant impact on global warming as much as on the local air quality. Most severely affected are those people living in megacities with street canyons showing high concentration levels of transport-related pollutants. But global warming has an impact on all of us.

That is why for ZF “Vision Zero” has two perspectives: Zero accidents and zero emissions.

Progress – yet still a long way to go

Thanks to technological developments and governmental regulations, impressive progress has been made. Seat-belts and airbags together with speed limits and drink-driving laws resulted in reducing the risks for road users over years. Over the past decade, the number of road traffic deaths in China has halved. From 2018, the Chinese NCAP will also include pedestrian protection and automatic emergency braking as well as more stringent tests for side-impact. Roads in China will get safer every year.

In the effort to reduce emissions, China is already the N° 1 market in the world. More than 115.000 buses with electric power-units have been registered in 2016. The growth rate for electric passenger cars is at 200 percent.

More than 500.000 “NEVs” – either hybrid, plug-in hybrid or battery-powered – were brought onto Chinese roads, last year. And yet, there is still a long way to go.

ZF solutions for safer road traffic

Since the acquisition of TRW Automotive in 2015, ZF has the most comprehensive portfolio of active and passive safety technologies in the supply industry. Continuous innovation helps to prevent accidents and to protect vehicle occupants as well as other road users.

ZF has a specific expertise in the development of intelligent safety systems – because: more intelligent cars are safer cars. Thanks to highly developed electronics architecture and innovative algorithms, ZF is able to offer integrated solutions which are much more than the sum of their parts.

Reducing emissions with technology by ZF

As they generate almost zero local emissions, electric vehicles will remain without any alternative. ZF is able to deliver e-mobility solutions from a single source like no other supplier: electric motors, plug-in hybrid transmissions, all-electric drives and power electronics for passenger cars, trucks and buses. Peter Lake, Member of the Board of Management of ZF Friedrichshafen AG: “Thanks to our new R&D-facility in Shanghai, we are rapidly strengthening our local e-mobility capabilities so that we can support our customers in their aggressive growth aspirations.”

A world according to Vision Zero will improve the safety and quality of the life of each individual human being. Coming closer to this vision is a key objective for ZF – and an invitation to all partners who want to join us on this way.

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