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ZF expands partnership with Microsoft to develop digital services

Microsoft will help ZF develop its electromobility services

ZF has expanded its partnership with Microsoft to establish one of the most comprehensive digital cloud platforms in the automotive market. The strategic cooperation puts ZF in a position to offer digital services in the areas of automated driving, vehicle motion control, integrated safety and electromobility.

The products range from fleet management solutions to predictive maintenance applications and process automation based on the ZF Cloud. Just a year ago, ZF announced its own IoT platform based on Microsoft Azure.

Whether in the passenger car sector or for commercial vehicles, ZF is well on the road toward Vision Zero. Autonomous vehicles, innovative safety systems and intelligent mobility solutions contribute to a future of road traffic with zero accidents and zero emissions.

This will be accompanied by digitalising the entire value chain. The technological backbone for these applications is the ZF Cloud based on Microsoft Azure. The closer collaboration with Microsoft allows ZF the development of even more customer focused and tailor-made solutions.

“The strategic partnership with Microsoft will allow us to work even more intensely on intelligent and networked mobility solutions of the future,” explained chief digital officer at ZF Friedrichshafen AG Mamatha Chamarthi. “This puts us in the position of developing new digital services, on the one hand, and to adapt them perfectly to specific customer needs, on the other.”

Microsoft automotive industry general manager Sanjay Ravi added: “We are excited to expand our collaboration with ZF. Microsoft Azure’s cloud, AI and IoT capabilities enable ZF to deliver highly secure mobility services at a global scale with a faster time to market and respond to the unique needs of their customers and partners worldwide.”

At the CES trade show, ZF will present their initial application options for the expanded platform. These options were developed with various partners and will encompass diverse areas of use:

VDL, one of the leading manufacturer groups in the bus sector, uses the ZF IoT platform not only for its fleet management solution being sold to its customers, but also for its own fleet.

The platform provides VDL a complete overview of the efficiency of its electric and diesel vehicles. By the end of 2018, more than 300 VDL electric buses had been equipped with the solution. In the process, VDL uses the entire bandwidth of Microsoft Azure services – from the Edge device to the cloud-based platform.

With the new Predictive Maintenance function, ZF is preparing its successful modular TraXon transmission for the digital future in the commercial vehicle industry. Starting in 2019, vehicle manufacturers and fleet operators can proactively plan vehicle maintenance using the cloud solution.

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