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Tags: ZeroEmissions, AutonomousDriving, ArtificialIntelligence, Connectivity, Emobility, Efficiency

Tomorrow's urban mobility relies on new operational concepts and types of vehicles, such as people movers. One of the most advanced projects is the e.GO Mover. A project ZF is heavily involved in. Insights from the Geneva International Motor Show.
Andreas Neemann, March 08, 2019
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Andreas Neemann wrote his first ZF text in 2001 about 6HP transmissions. Since then, the automotive writer has filled many publications for internal and external readers, showcasing his passion for the Group's more complex subjects.
"Ride hailing" is one of the concepts of the future in public transport. If you want to travel quickly from A to B, simply use the app to order a ride in a type of minibus. Currently these minibuses have drivers but in future will be driverless. This individual transport service is possible thanks to algorithms in the vehicles. These quickly process and match route requests and can also bundle rides in the same direction. This increases efficiency and relieves urban road traffic.

New transport concepts relieve cities

New transport concepts relieve cities

„Mobility as a Service“ (MaaS) is the umbrella term for concepts such as ride hailing described above. The equivalent in delivery logistics is called "Transport as a service" (TaaS). "Together, these are important drivers for the development of autonomous driving," says Wolf-Henning Scheider, Chief Executive Officer at ZF Friedrichshafen AG. Public transport via ride hailing is particularly efficient when it is carried out autonomously by driverless vehicles. These vehicles have been built specifically for this purpose and as a result look different than today's passenger cars and minibuses. These people movers show where our urban future is headed: Electrically driven minibuses that allow passengers to get on and off easily and are equipped with comfortable seats for up to 15 people. With top speeds of around 70 km/h, they may not be setting any records. However, their computer performance makes them the spearhead within the automotive industry. After all, the vehicle's main computer not only has to process the sensor data and translate it into driving commands during autonomous operations, during ride hailing operations it also has to match requests with routes that have already been booked.

e.GO Mover: representing intelligent urban mobility

e.GO Mover: representing intelligent urban mobility

When it comes to people mover concepts, hardly any other company is as far as Aachen-based e.GO Moove GmbH, a joint venture between ZF Friedrichshafen AG and e.GO Mobile AG. At the Geneva International Motor Show, which took place at the beginning of March, the company showed a pre-production model of their "e.GO Mover" for the first time. The "e.GO Lux", a premium version for use by individual customers, also impressed visitors.

e.GO Mover features ZF's state-of-the-art technology

e.GO Mover features ZF's state-of-the-art technology

ZF has been influential in ensuring that the project has progressed as far as it has. The company is a financial stakeholder as well as an important technology supplier. The all-electric drive, steering and brakes were all developed by ZF. During its autonomous travels, the e.GO Mover draws on cameras as well as radar sensors, all made by ZF. The people movers tremendous computing power, which is also able to integrate artificial intelligence, is provided by the supercomputer ZF ProAI RoboThink. This is currently the most powerful main computer in the automotive industry. "Our partnership with e.GO is proof of the tremendous speed we are currently gaining, particularly when it comes to developing new mobility solutions," says ZF CEO Scheider in Geneva and adds, "And it emphasizes how attractive our system solutions are for new mobility providers: Interconnected systems that consist of sensors, artificial intelligence, electric drives and actuators are becoming increasingly important. ZF can deliver them from a single source. The e.GO Mover is a trendsetter – and perfectly demonstrates our systems expertise."

Full steam ahead for the e.GO Mover

Full steam ahead for the e.GO Mover

A tight schedule has been set for the next steps. Test drives on public roads in Friedrichshafen and Aachen will continue to drive the development of the e.GO Mover's autonomous driving functions. These will begin before the end of this year. Since the beginning of 2019, another cooperation partner has come on board: Transdev GmbH has joined forces with ZF and e.GO Mobile AG to develop a new shared mobility solution. In turn, the e.GO Mover will be equipped with Transdev's autonomous transport system. Today, Transdev already carries 3.5 million passengers a year in self-driving buses in Australia, Canada, France, the Netherlands and the USA.

Enormous market potential for autonomous vehicles

Enormous market potential for autonomous vehicles

Market analyses based on evaluations by Goldman Sachs, Roland Berger and McKinsey forecast sales of about twelve to 18 billion US dollars in the passenger car segment on the global market for autonomous driving in 2030. For commercial vehicles, the turnover is expected to be 36 billion dollars. Annually. The market for people movers and cargo movers tops these numbers. In the long-term, analysts expect sales in this sector of between 20 and 50 billion dollars annually, with cargo movers making up the larger share of this number.

Read also in our expert's blog “How Autonomous Driving will Change the Market"