ZF plans to supply an advanced driver-assist system to the Vietnamese electric vehicle startup VinFast that can be upgraded to automated driving capabilities.
The German supplier said it will supply cameras, radars and lidars as well as the central unit for synthesizing the sensors' inputs, according to a statement. The system, slated to go into production in 2022, will allow VinFast to offer Level 2 driving assistance while it works with ZF toward higher-level automation, including capabilities for traffic-jam navigation, highway driving and valet parking by using increasingly sophisticated sensors.
Ultimately, ZF projects the system will be able to provide Level 4 automated driving, in which a vehicle can operate itself within a limited geographic area, initially for parking applications.
"The design and development of higher-level AD systems will assist drivers all over the world in enjoying enhanced degrees of safety, convenience and intelligence," ZF board of management member Martin Fischer said in the statement. "This is our vision when we talk about the next generation of mobility and one proof point of how we are making this a reality, now."
As the system reaches Level 3 capabilities, in which a driver must be ready to take back control of the vehicle, it will need to add interior monitoring to ensure the driver is not too distracted behind the wheel, Fischer told reporters in an online news conference.
The partnership with VinFast was announced at the start of an online news conference that had been intended for CES in Las Vegas. The supplier decided against making the announcement in person in light of the rapid spread of the omicron variant of the virus that causes COVID-19.