German tech company ZF invests in Oxbotica to deploy autonomous passenger shuttles in major world cities

ZF Friedrichshafen AG -Vorkommunikation IAA 2021

German technology company ZF, which suppling systems for passenger cars, commercial vehicles and industrial technology, has invested in autonomous vehicle software company Oxbotica, and will take a seat on the company’s advisory board with a five per cent share.

GF is expanding its expertise in autonomous driving in line with ZF’s “Next Generation Mobility” strategy.

ZF and Oxbotica will develop a Level 4 self-driving system that can be integrated into various vehicles including Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) shuttles to provide on-demand passenger and also goods transportation vehicles in urban environments which it intends to be deployed in passenger shuttles in major cities around the world.

The autonomous shuttle market will grow substantially over the next 10 years with the potential to increase access to mobility, improve road safety, reduce congestion, and boost productivity.

The two companies started working together in 2019, with Oxbotica completing integration of its autonomous vehicle software with ZF’s ProAI, an AI capable automotive-grade compute platform, and ZF’s Full-Range Radar.

Ahead of the autonomous shuttle deployments, ZF and Oxbotica will work together to continue to develop the technology and on validation and verification of the integrated self-driving vehicle system.

Torsten Gollewski, Executive Vice President, Autonomous Mobility Systems at ZF, said: “The entry investment of five per cent underlines our confidence in Oxbotica’s capabilities. Together with Oxbotica, we are developing self-driving systems for autonomous people and cargo mover addressing the current challenges in public transport and logistics.

Paul Newman, co-founder and CTO of Oxbotica added: “Partnering with ZF in developing an on-road passenger and goods transportation solution is an important milestone in Oxbotica’s commercial autonomy strategy. Our product will bring new options to cities and transport operators around the globe who must solve the complex mobility challenges of the future. The way people and goods move is changing.”

In fiscal year 2020 ZF reported sales of €32.6 billion. The company employs more than 150,000 associates at approximately 270 locations in 42 countries.

Oxbotica was founded in 2014 as an Oxford University spin-out with a simple mission to develop autonomy software that will transform all industries where people and goods move. Oxbotica’s autonomy software works with any vehicle, any time, and in any place. This is Universal Autonomy. Oxbotica’s autonomous vehicle software is deployed across multiple industries, bringing the benefits of autonomy to enterprises globally. Oxbotica is building an ecosystem that supports the adoption of autonomous vehicles, leveraging key partnerships to accelerate the deployment of Universal Autonomy.