Thinking One Step Ahead

Mobility solutions for a connected world

Old boundaries are becoming blurred. Innovations that are shaping the mobility of the future are no longer just about the car. Whether connectedness, cloud-based information or support services, ZF is pursuing its own ideas for new business models in these fields.

Public acceptance of electromobility will come about in many ways. That’s why ZF is expanding its long-term core expertise in electric motors by bringing in new product ideas and establishing cooperative partnerships. Together with partners, ZF is developing the blockchain technology-based “Car eWallet” which will enable the vehicle to automatically pay for parking fees, highway tolls or for power at the charging station. Another potential new business model is to develop apps and algorithms to increase safety in road traffic, especially for more vulnerable road users like pedestrians and cyclists. For example, the intelligent algorithm “X2Safe” warns its user of a potential collision with another road user. The concept of the Intelligent Rolling Chassis (IRC), a ready-to-go platform for all-electric city vehicles, has been designed for all players on the mobility market. The completely flat floor between the front and rear axle accommodates almost any vehicle body design and new interior concepts. The Intelligent Rolling Chassis is the perfect platform for compact cars, sedans, fun convertibles, delivery vehicles and even for driverless delivery containers. The intelligently connected mechatronic systems from ZF are included. For car-sharing service providers, taxi companies and rental car companies, the “Dashboard” app from Openmatics is an interesting innovation. This application helps fleet operators manage their fleets efficiently. ZF founded Openmatics in 2011 as a manufacturer-independent telematics platform. Today, Openmatics is an important part of many of the Group’s future ideas, regardless of whether it’s a passenger car, truck or industrial application.

“Vision Zero” means zero accidents, zero emissions. Achieving these ambitious goals requires intelligently connected and automated systems.

Cooperation With a Look to the Future

ZF has spent many years establishing a network of contacts for cooperation and collaboration. ZF has continuously expanded its network of contacts for cooperation and collaboration over the last few years. The Group founded its own venture capital company called Zukunft Ventures GmbH in 2016. The aim is to invest in start-up companies and form cooperative partnerships with technology companies that will contribute considerably to the future technologies of ZF. The new company’s first investment went to the Hamburg-based technology company Ibeo, which will work with ZF to develop a new generation of lidar sensors. This advanced sensor technology is especially critical for autonomous driving. To help it select the right partners, ZF has teamed up with “Plug and Play,” a global start-up accelerator headquartered in Silicon Valley.

Read more on how ZF is changing

Further information

Annual Report


ZF at a Glance