Mobility Responsibility

#visionzero

Big cities with a big influence

Tags: Zero accidents, Zero emissions, Autonomous Driving, SeeThinkAct, Connectivity, Safety, E-Mobility, Efficiency
Urbanization is a megatrend, the influx into metropolitan areas remains unbroken worldwide – with negative consequences for air quality and quality of life. Only tailored concepts deliver an efficient contribution to climate protection. ZF offers a wide range of solutions and technologies.
Stefan Schrahe, October 09, 2018
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Stefan Schrahe has been writing about everything four-wheeled for three decades now. In his leisure time, he enjoys traveling by bike - though he also prefers motorized ones.
Urbanization is progressing unstoppably. Already today, more people live in cities than in rural areas; by 2050, two thirds of the world's population will be city dwellers. This will further increase the mobility demands – with serious consequences for air quality and quality of life. Without a radically new thinking, global transport and the associated CO2 emissions will increase by 70 percent by the middle of this century. There already are enough negative records: commuters in the greater Los Angeles area spend around 102 hours per year in traffic jams. And road traffic in Belfast is moving at pedestrian level with an average speed of just 5.4 km/h – hence, it is on the verge of collapsing. Therefore, the big task is to make mobility smarter and more efficient. ZF is working on the “Next Generation Mobility” with a variety of technical solutions.

Reorganising mobility instead of banning it

In view of this development, the car-friendly city will soon be a concept of the past. But as mobility is a fundamental right, new concepts are in demand. The motto is to reorganize and align oneself with local conditions rather than impose bans. The worldwide city network “C40”, in which more than 90 mega-cities in the world exchange information on their mobility concepts, has also recognized this. A global trend is clearly discernible: Electromobility and zero-emission zones are the future. One of the pacemakers is the electrification of bus fleets, which play a decisive role in public transportation in every metropolis. For ZF CEO Wolf-Henning Scheider, this is an encouraging finding: “With the AxTrax AVE electric portal axle, ZF offers an electric drive solution that can be perfectly integrated into existing vehicle concepts and platforms.”
Together, the 96 cities of the C40 network represent 25 percent of the world's gross domestic product and, with more than 650 million inhabitants, every twelfth person on this planet.

Typification: Meeting the needs of different megacities

Typification: Meeting the needs of different megacities

In addition, the traffic problems in the various megacities are very different. In order to plan holistic mobility concepts on the one hand and to develop tailor-made matching products on the other, it makes sense to categorise them into four types of megacities:
  • Space type A has a high population density in a comparatively small area with a high density of public transport offerings.
  • Space type B is also densely populated, but has a high level of individual transport. Public transport is of lesser importance.
  • Space type C describes an urban sprawl with a high share of public transport.
  • Space type D is an urban sprawl with a high share of individual traffic.
It is obvious: For these very different types of cities, there can be no master solution for future mobility. That's why ZF developers are working on solutions which are adapted to the individual situation.
ZF offers a wide range of solutions and technologies for all types of megacities.

Robo-taxis for high density cities

Robo-taxis for high density cities

For space type A and cities such as Hong Kong, for example, the e.GO Mover is predestined, because car-based mobility offers will disappear from megacities of this type and will be replaced by robo-taxis. Over the next five to seven years, the demand for fully electric minibuses will grow to around one million vehicles per year worldwide.
An ideal basis for Robo-Taxis is the Intelligent Dynamic Driving Chassis ( IDDC ). The highly flexible platform for autonomous electric vehicles can see, think, and act with the help of cameras , radar and lidar sensors, the ZF Pro AI central computer, its integrated braking system , and front and rear axle steering.

Micro-mobility with electric drive and ABS

Micro-mobility with electric drive and ABS

In cities of space type B – such as Bangkok – public transport is less prominent. Here, the focus is primarily on micro-E-mobility vehicles. Because ZF thinks about safety as well asabout zero emissions, the company has developed an electric drive system for bicycles and load bikes as well as an ABS system. The brake system only weighs 300 grams and generates 80 bar brake pressure.
Robo-taxis too are a useful addition for this type of city. They gain greater acceptance, if the driving experience is as pleasant as possible. To achieve this, longitudinal and lateral dynamics must be well coordinated. Because jerky acceleration, braking, or steering quickly diminish confidence in the computer chauffeur. With cubiX , ZF has therefore developed a unique networking technology that integrates numerous chassis systems. And if the active damping system sMOTION is on board, cubiX can even control the vertical dynamics – such as impacts from road unevenness – in robo-taxis.
In 2015, transport accounted for
23 percent
of all global CO2 emissions.

Smart cable cars for rugged cities

Smart cable cars for rugged cities

In urban sprawl of the C space-type, public transport plays a central role. The example of Bogotá clearly shows that public transport does by no means need to take place on roads: In the Colombian capital, a 3.3-kilometer-long cable car is under construction which will connect an entire district of the city to the public bus network – thus giving many people access to public life. Public transportation systems like these can benefit from intelligent systems from ZF. Take La Paz (Bolivia), for example: There, light rail vehicles are equipped with ZF industrial transmissions, which will be equipped with the ZF ProVID performance management system from 2019. This enables remote diagnosis of the complete driveline system via the ZF cloud. This reduces maintenance and repair costs and avoids unnecessary downtime.

Plug-in hybrid transmissions reduce commuter emissions

Plug-in hybrid transmissions reduce commuter emissions

Space type D will not be able to benefit from this: For sprawling cities with heavy individual traffic such as Houston/Texas, it will be more important to drastically reduce consumption and emissions of conventional passenger cars. Technologies such as the ZF 8-Speed Hybrid Transmission can play a central role here. With the integrated, 100 kilowatt (136 hp) electric motor, speeds of up to 140 km/h are possible without emissions and with ranges of 80 kilometers – depending on the battery capacity – can be realized. With this technology, commuters could for the most part, travel purely electrically – and thus, make a decisive contribution to achieving local air quality targets. At the same time, hybrid technology makes it possible to cover long distances as usual – thanks to the conventional combustion engine.
“Automation and electrification are key to sustainable individual mobility”.
— Wolf-Henning Scheider, CEO ZF Friedrichshafen AG

Sustainable and clean delivery van for the last mile

Sustainable and clean delivery van for the last mile

However, solving urban traffic problems is not just about transporting people. Constantly increasing e-commerce – trading via the Internet – has contributed to the fact that the transport of goods and merchandise is now responsible for 15 percent of local emissions. The ZF Innovation Van helps prevent parked vans from blocking roads. The fully electric delivery vehicle, equipped with autonomous Level 4 driving functions, can autonomously search for a parking space or drive up to the next delivery point even without a driver on board. This not only noticeably reduces the load on scarce traffic areas, but also on parcel carriers.
Wolf-Henning Scheider: “’Next Generation Mobility’ is not about the question of whether individual transport has a future or which type of mobility will prevail. If people and goods are to be mobile on a sustainable basis, existing conditions need to be built on to find an individually suitable solution. The right “modal split” and the networking of the various modes of transport will be the signatures of a new urban mobility. The routes to achieve this are manifold. ZF's solutions and technologies are geared to this diversity.”