With the test center, ZF has constructed a flexibly configurable building at its Friedrichshafen (Germany) location to test electric, hybrid, and combustion-engine drives. Battery simulators supply electric and hybrid drives with the necessary energy. This allows the entire energy supply for a vehicle to be simulated in the test boxes, regardless of the energy source.
The company intends to further expand its capacities in Friedrichshafen. A new office building will be erected on the FEZ site east of the test centre and its design will be based on this. Jobs for around 400 ZF developers will be created there. The construction project is currently in the planning and approval phase. After investing a total of 70 million euros for the test center, ZF will again invest a double-digit million euro amount here.
ZF operates numerous test facilities in Friedrichshafen for different requirements and products. These include the existing transmission test benches in the FEZ as well as a test bench for laser-based Lidar technology, which is an important component of the sensor set for automated driving functions. “In the test center, the focus is on endurance testing of driveline technologies,” said Dr. Dirk Walliser, Head of Central Research and Development at ZF. “Here, we can simulate the entire life cycle of a vehicle drive – whether electric, hybrid or with a combustion engine – in just three months. Walliser also referred to the test field for automated driving, which ZF initiated together with the City of Friedrichshafen and the Institute for Continuing Education, Knowledge and Technology Transfer of the DHBW Ravensburg (IWT). “The test field enables our developers, for example, to test automated and autonomous functions in the immediate vicinity of their desks,” said Walliser. “This is an invaluable advantage in accelerating our development processes and optimising test procedures”.