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TechnologiesDigitalization and Software

Digitalization and Software

Digitalization is all about integrating and interconnecting artificial intelligence into more products and endowing it with the capacity to learn. ZF is one of the trailblazers that is revolutionizing mobility.

Connectivity and digitalization have become an integral part of our everyday lives. The enormous quantities of information available everywhere and in real time make new functions and business models possible that were unthinkable a few decades ago.

Software competence is becoming a key factor for innovation and an indispensable characteristic of technology leaders. This also applies to mobility and industrial applications: The prerequisite for successful products is the ability to network individual components to form comprehensive systems that act and learn independently thanks to artificial intelligence and deep learning algorithms.

With this, ZF develops highly automated driver assistance systems as well as smart IoT and connectivity solutions: Digitalization serves the Group as an enabler for shaping the mobility of the future.

On the Way to the "Digital Company"

Tomorrow's mobility is becoming increasingly digital. Companies that shape this future must be digital pioneers. How does ZF fulfill this role? A conversation with ZF CDO Dr. René Deist.

Smart Connection to the Future 

The only solution for many challenges in the automotive industry is to join forces. OEMs, component suppliers and software houses have set up Catena-X – an initiative that aims to make more effective use of existing data for all supply chain actors. Dr. Jürgen Sturm, CIO of ZF and Catena-X Member of the Board of Management talks about the partner network.

Digitalization Encounters Electromobility

Electric drives are a decisive aspect of the mobility of tomorrow. When they are integrated in smart, digital solutions they offer even greater added value to manufacturers and end customers. With the I.E-Axle, ZF shows what form that might take.


Software is Gaining Importance

The convergence of hardware, software and electronics in the automotive industry is leading to a completely new mobility landscape. In addition to innovations, breaks are also occurring at the points of contact with other industries. The connectivity requirements of the individual components in the "Software Defined Car" are shifting the value creation increasingly from hardware to software. This change requires faster and more comprehensive software development - on the one hand with regard to the speed and quality of processes, but also with regard to methods and solutions in software engineering.

The Mediator in Automotive Software

With its “middleware”, ZF is creating a central software platform for the software-defined car of the future: Middleware helps connect all software applications and enables data to be exchanged between them.

Software for Better #MobilitylifeBalance

Dr. Walliser, Senior VP Corporate Research & Development at ZF, presented the Evolution of Software Architecture at the NASSCOM Design & Engineering Summit.

From Science Fiction to Reality

As a child, Dennis Windmeier was fascinated by the idea of driverless flying cars. Today, as a software developer, he creates the fundamental principles for turning self-driving cars on public roads into reality.

Semi-Automated Driving with ZF coPILOT

With ZF coPILOT, ZF and NVIDIA developed an advanced driver assistance system that controls many useful functions centrally, contributing in the process to a comfortable and safe driving experience.

Artificial Intelligence

When Machines Learn to Think

Equipping computers and robots with the cognitive abilities to handle even highly complex tasks better than humans - that is the goal of artificial intelligence (AI). The rapidly, increasing computing power of processors makes it possible to process enormous amounts of data in the shortest amount of time. An appropriately programmed algorithm recognizes patterns in Big Data and can interpret them. AI systems can solve problems that are not thematically stored in their code.

One example is the central computer ZF ProAI, which is the most flexible, scalable and powerful central computer in the mobility industry. It evaluates the flood of information generated by a car's various sensor systems in real time. With this, it calculates the optimum reaction of the vehicle - and learns continuously from the experience gained. These skills are a prerequisite for realizing automated driving in everyday life.

When Quality is the AI Bot's Job

AI robots can take over monotonous tasks for their human ZF colleagues in production, thus increasing efficiency and satisfaction. Research on this is being performed in Saarbrücken.

AI in China: The Future is Already Here

The People’s Republic of China (PRC) is becoming the leading global market for artificial intelligence, and ZF is at the forefront with its solutions.

AI: The Algorithm as a Chauffeur

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is gaining ground in more and more areas of everyday life. Of course also in road traffic. ZF is already working on this technological leap.

Autonomous Driving: Hand Over Control

From Frankenstein to Matrix: literature and films are full of conflicts between machines and people. Most people would also have difficulty relinquishing control to an autonomous vehicle. But automation can deliver many advantages here.

Deep Learning

The Algorithm as a Neural Network

An important characteristic of AI systems is that they continuously learn as they collect more data.

For particularly complex tasks, special deep-learning algorithms are required, which in their structure simulate the neural networks of the human brain. They allow feedback and correction loops and are particularly well-suited for detecting patterns or deviations in large amounts of data.

This makes deep learning systems, particularly well-suited for image recognition programs, such as those used in the software architecture of ZF Pro AI.

Cybersecurity: How to Protect Vehicles from Hacker Attacks

Mobility is becoming increasingly digital and connected, and protection against hacker attacks is becoming ever more important. As early as 2022, compliance with cybersecurity standards will be mandatory for new vehicle registrations in many countries.

Internet of Things - IoT

Networking Devices and Data

The idea behind the "Internet of Things" (IoT) is to let machines of any kind communicate with each other as well as with external users.

This networking of different systems makes new digital services possible on the one hand. It also allows hardware to be used more efficiently on the other. This applies to cars that share information about potholes with other vehicles, as well as industrial manufacturing plants, which coordinate current capacity utilization, or wind turbines, whose maintenance can be planned before damage occurs thanks to real-time data on wear.

ZF offers an infrastructure for these applications with its cloud-based IoT platform. Thanks to its broad portfolio, the technology group benefits from cross-sector synergies to offer its customers a wide range of innovative, secure and intelligent functions.

Powering Mobility on the Water

Since the 1980s, ZF has maintained partnerships with engine manufacturers and North American recreational boat builders.

Data Analysis Means Greater Efficiency

Instead of relying on networking and big data, production and test data in many companies are still an unused resource. ZF itself relies on data analytics and is also offering this service on its test benches.

IoT – A Network of New Possibilities

From smart hardware systems to digital services: With its cloud-based IoT platform, ZF offers its customers a wide range of innovative, secure and intelligent solutions - across a range of applications and industries.


Systems for an Intelligently Networked World

In a networked world, it is essential that vehicles and systems communicate with each other. In future mobility solutions, not only the vehicles themselves and among each other will be networked. Additionally, mobility services and infrastructure will be integrated into this network. ZF offers solutions in both the logistics and automotive sectors.

Mobility and Connectivity Solutions

From automated mobility concepts, over cloud-based applications for commercial vehicle fleets up to an open transaction network for vehicles and service providers: ZF offers a wide range of connectivity and mobility solutions.

Digital Fleet Management: Connectivity is Key

Hjalmar Van Raemdonck, Head of Digital Systems Solutions, explains what the decisive factors for the success of future Fleet Management Solutions will be.

connect@rail - Digital Solutions for the Future of Mobility on Rails

connect@rail - the condition monitoring platform for rail vehicles

Highly Automated Commercial Vehicles

Automated vehicle technologies are moving beyond passenger vehicles and SUVs to play a major role in commercial vehicles.

The Sustainable & Connected Construction Site

The construction site of the future needs to become more efficient and less polluting. Digital and electric solutions from ZF offers some interesting approaches in this respect and provide companies with tangible competitive advantages.

Connected Solutions

Digitalization and Software Drive Tomorrow's Mobility

Networked systems are considered a decisive factor for future mobility. Digitalization offers great opportunities for all fields of technology and will be one of the key differentiators in achieving higher levels of automation. But this trend also applies to e-mobility and vehicle safety or in modern chassis technology. At the same time, ZF is increasing its expertise in software development in order to convince with innovations which will increasingly be software products in the future.