ZF is establishing a Technology centre for Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Cybersecurity in Saarbrücken, Germany. With this, ZF will now expand its activities in AI research and will coordinate and control the company’s future AI activities from here. Wolf-Henning Scheider, Chief Executive Officer of ZF Friedrichshafen AG, announced the location for the Technology Center in the presence of Saarland Minister-President Tobias Hans. Scheider also announced that as a new shareholder of the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) and strategic partner of the Helmholtz Center for Information Security (CISPA), ZF will cooperate closely with these leading research institutions in the future. This deal is expected to be finalised in the second quarter of 2019 and is subject to formal approval of all current shareholders.
“With the new Technology centre for Artificial Intelligence and Cybersecurity, we are taking our Group-wide expertise in these key digital technologies to a new level. We are also in close proximity to the most respected research institutions in these disciplines which will strengthen our cooperation,” explained Wolf-Henning Scheider. “We plan to recruit around 100 new, highly qualified people in Saarbrücken – and work with them to drive forward sophisticated developments for new, digitally connected and automated mobility solutions,” Scheider said.
Two thirds of these 100 specialists based in Saarbrücken will focus on AI, the remaining third will focus on cybersecurity. These new colleagues will complement the more than 300 colleagues worldwide – based at the company’s headquarters for R&D in Friedrichshafen and at other locations in Germany and abroad – that are already developing solutions in the fields of Artificial Intelligence, Industry 4.0 and Cybersecurity and use them in products and services.
“The new ZF center strengthens the Saarland industrial location with thousands of jobs. With this, we build a bridge from Saarland’s scientific-technological IT/AI competence to the technological excellence of a worldwide leading automotive supplier company,” said Tobias Hans.
ZF is thus expanding its international research and development network, consisting of both internal and external AI experts. ZF also has access to AI expertise and specialised development resources through existing partnerships with NVIDIA, Microsoft, Intel Mobileye and through its involvement in development service provider ASAP.
Artificial intelligence is an essential component for automated driving functions and is indispensable on the path to autonomous driving. Vehicle manufacturers and mobility providers are already benefiting from the scalable, modular and AI-capable central computer product family – ZF ProAI. The ProAI RoboThink, the latest model, presented at this year’s CES, is the most powerful supercomputer currently available for automotive applications. As a complete system solution with sensors, actuators and AI, ZF offers automated functions for vehicles of all classes from a single source.