ZF to Develop Its Own Self-Driving Electric Car

September 19, 2018 at 11:13 AM

ZF Friedrichshafen AG, best-known for powertrain components and vehicle electronics, is getting into the electric-vehicle market.

The company tells reporters at the IAA show in Hanover, Germany, that it expects to put its all-electric, self-driving delivery vehicle concept, dubbed the ZF Innovation Van, it into production within two years.

The project is part of the company’s five-year, €12 billion ($14 billion) investment in electrified powertrains and autonomous vehicle technologies.

The self-driving van is designed to provide “last-mile” service in city centers. ZF says the vehicle will have Level 4 autonomy. The van will use a camera, radar and lidar sensors to navigate streets that lack lane markers, move around double-parked vehicles and “read” traffic lights.

When two delivery points are near each other, the vehicle’s driver/delivery person can walk from one to the other and use a remote-control “follow me” device to order the van to tag along. ZF says the same function can be used to drop off the driver when parking isn’t available at the first stop and drive autonomously to the next delivery point.