ZF introduces autonomous local transport to Hamburg

ZF’s autonomous electric shuttles are set to shape future mobility in Hamburg. (Photo: ZF Friedrichshafen)

Autonomous vehicles should make a significant contribution to modern mobility in the future. However, despite all the progress that can be seen around the world, there are still many challenging challenges that must be overcome before fully autonomous operation in an urban environment can be achieved.

I am still working many are already working on initial solutions, including the city of Hamburg. With the support of the Hamburg Transport and Mobility Authority (BVM), Hamburger Hochbahn AG and ZF Friedrichshafen AG plan to jointly face the challenges of actually using autonomous transport systems in local public transport in the coming years and further develop suitable solutions for regular work.

As part of the appropriate partnership, the innovative driverless transport systems are to be adapted to the real needs of passengers and carriers in order to create sustainable, need-based, future-proof and customer-oriented mobility in Hamburg.

The first step to the autonomous shuttle has already been made

“The Heat project, which we successfully unveiled at last year’s ITS Congress, was an important first step in showing that autonomous shuttles can complement local transport,” says Hochbahn CEO Henrik Falk. “Now we need to take the next step in a highly competent network and develop a system that we can use in our day-to-day operations.”

The purpose of the Innovation Partnership is, inter alia, to identify possible application areas where the zero emission autonomous shuttles can then be used in normal operation. The partners are pursuing several application areas to get the most complete picture of the further technological and regulatory developments on the user and operator side towards a driverless transport system.

“Quiet, emission-free, punctual and avoiding traffic jams in the city: autonomous shuttles are the ideal means of local transport to promote transport and energy transformation with passengers,” postulates Torsten Gollewski, head of Autonomous Mobility Systems at ZF. Hamburg and the Hochbahn are good partners for ZF in answering questions about urban and suburban mobility in large cities. “Together, we want to further develop the mobility offer, which will close the gap in the timetable in cities and communes” – says the ZF man.

This is what the autonomous ZF shuttles should look like

Each ZF electric shuttle offers space for up to 22 people, can be used on separate lanes or can later autonomously travel with the traffic. ZF not only offers a Tier 4 vehicle, but also creates a route layout and accompanies the installation and commissioning of shuttle systems. The company also offers training for employees and workshops and provides support in the form of a comprehensive package of carefree service and repairs.

“We want to implement the Hamburg cycle in a Hanseatic city where people can get low-threshold, tailor-made access to public transport in five minutes – whether it’s a bus, train, ferry, StadtRad or on-demand offer,” reports Anjes Tjarks, Hamburg Senator for Transport and Mobility Transformation. Autonomous, electrically powered, sustainable offers can make an important contribution to enabling Hamburg’s rhythm in the future, especially in peri-urban regions where public transport still needs to be improved further. They could be included in regular public transport operations. These include, for example, autonomous minibuses that connect people from the area to the fast transport system when needed.

“To this end, we work closely with partners from the world of science and industry to develop reliable, secure systems that are adapted to the needs of society. passengers are oriented, ”says Tjarks. “That’s why I am delighted with the city’s innovation partnership with Hochbahn and ZF.”

The partners have set themselves the goal of making an effective and lasting contribution to the Hamburg rhythm through their project. By 2030, everyone in Hamburg should have access to a high-quality public mobility service within five minutes from morning to night.

Source: ZF Friedrichshafen

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