ZF and the Development of Tech for Autonomy

As executive vp with global operational responsibility for the Global Electronics business and Occupant Safety Systems businesses within the ZF Active and Passive Safety Technology division of the ZF Group, Christophe Marnat has his proverbial plate full, especially nowadays when there are burgeoning efforts on behalf of OEMs and suppliers like ZF to develop the technologies that are related to ADAS, all the way to the point of providing Level 4 or Level 5 technology.

As executive vice president with global operational responsibility for the Global Electronics business and Occupant Safety Systems businesses within the ZF Active and Passive Safety Technology division of the ZF Group, Christophe Marnat has his proverbial plate full, especially nowadays when there are burgeoning efforts on behalf of OEMs and suppliers like ZF to develop the technologies—not merely develop in the sense of creating it but of having it either in or fully capable of being in production—that are related to advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), all the way to the point of providing Level 4 or even Level 5 technology. It isn’t just a matter of having a vehicle that can negotiate on the road—and Marnat’s organization is involved in cameras, radars and LiDARs germane to providing the sensor capability, as well as controllers that does something with the obtained data—but it is something that must be done so in a safe manner, which brings into play the safety part of Marnat’s operations.

TriCam4

The ZF Tri-Cam4 camera was developed with Mobileye for semi-automated driving applications.

It is worth noting that ZF has been in operation for more than 100 years, and during this time it has been involved in other sorts of transportation vehicles other than just cars and trucks: Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin—yes, as in the airship that bears his name—established a company in Friedrichshafen, Germany, and that’s where the Z and the F come from in the name of the company that now has some 146,000 employees in 230 locations around the world.

You might also like

ProAI

The ZF ProAI is based on the NVIDIA DRIVE PX2 platform.

And while there is certainly a vaunted history, the company is working with partners that are nothing if not at the leading edge of the leading edge, including Mobileye and NVIDIA.

Marnat talks about the development of ADAS technology on this edition of “Autoline After Hours” with Christie Schweinsberg of WardsAuto.com, Doron Levin, host of “In the Driver’s Seat” on SiriusXM 121, and me.

Then we’re joined by Autoline’s John McElroy when we discuss some of the August sales numbers (light trucks—including crossovers and SUVS—accounted for more than 70 percent of the U.S. market in August), Ford’s problems both financially and organizationally (yes, there is an $11-billion plan, but what’s the plan?), and what seems to be a topic de jure, Tesla (on August 7 its shares were at $379.51; on September 6 $280.95, which certainly can’t be making a whole lot of investors happy with Mr. Musk), and a whole lot more.

Which you can see right here.