The realization that driverless passenger cars are far from market readiness is becoming more palpable in the automotive industry. There are a number of reasons for this including that the legal and legislative prerequisites for self-driving cars on open roads are not yet established. Another important factor - the costs of delivering a Level 4/5 vehicle exceed the budget of most car buyers. “Despite the technical hurdles and challenging framework conditions, it will be worth putting every possible effort behind developing automated driving further. Because automating next generation mobility will deliver immense safety, environmental and convenience benefits for our society”, said ZF CEO Wolf-Henning Scheider.
ZF relies on a two-pronged approach to automated driving. For commercial vehicles and people movers, which in the near future will likely only travel on closed areas and defined lanes and thus only need to contend with a limited number of different traffic situations, the Group is developing fully automated solutions in accordance with Level 4 and higher. However, in the passenger car sector, ZF relies on semi-automated systems. “Level 2+ systems that meet advanced safety test protocols and help relieve the stress on the driving task will be the primary driver for personal passenger vehicles in the near future and provide a platform to help identify, and then test and validate for unusual global road scenarios,” said Christophe Marnat, executive vice president for the ZF Electronics and Advanced Driver Assist Systems division.