They then took their idea of the hearing vehicle and submitted it to the Innovation Challenge 2017, a company-wide idea competition that was held for the first time last year. With this competition, ZF is breaking new ground to find interesting and marketable products of the future. The idea for “Sound.AI” came to Ade and Fieres during last year’s ZF Pitch Night held at the ZF Forum. There, an external startup presented an acoustic-based system for identifying problems in power grids and high-pressure gas systems. “Hey, why not develop something similar for cars?” recalls Fieres.