ZF, a company known for its transmissions, used CES to introduce its Next Generation Shuttle, an autonomous vehicle equipped with Level 4 autonomous driving technology. The shuttle uses lidar, radar, camera, and audio sensors to gather information about its surroundings, which is then processed by ZF’s Virtual Driver software to enable self-driving in urban environments.
The shuttle also has multiple redundancies for “full functionality” and high reliability. It has a range of between 50 and 100 kWh and can travel up to 80 miles on a single charge at a top speed of 25 mph. ZF plans to increase the top speed to 50 mph in the future.
It designed with front and rear steering and a kneeling function for precise docking and barrier-free boarding and disembarking. The shuttle has a sleek design with LED lights and large windows, as well as sensors and sliding doors. It has a traditional appearance overall.
It can hold up to 22 passengers, with 15 seats available. The interior features a stylish color scheme, a simulated wood floor, and display screens showing information about upcoming stops. It is customizable and compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, including an automatic ramp and wheelchair restraints.
ZF has also entered into a strategic partnership with mobility services provider Beep, with plans to deliver several thousand shuttles to customers in the coming years. These shuttles will potentially allow public transport operators to offer autonomous, emission-free rides to passengers around the clock without the need for human drivers.