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German car parts manufacturer ZF acquires smart tachograph producer

German car parts manufacturer ZF has acquired intellic Germany, a Berlin-based advanced tachograph technology company with 20 employees. The move represents a significant step towards realizing ZF's ambitions to enable Transportation as a Service (TaaS).

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“Incorporating Intellic’s smart tachograph technology within our telematics portfolio further advances ZF’s leading position as a ‘one-stop-shop’ for commercial vehicle manufacturers, fleets and industry partners,” said Hjalmar Van Raemdonck, ZF’s Head of Digital Systems Solutions in the division Commercial Vehicle Solutions. “As a uniquely regulated and trusted data center, smart tachographs will have an increasingly important role to play in the road transportation ecosystem.”

As the “black box” of the vehicle, verified data will include the entry of local times, precise real-time clocking, secure Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) and an Intelligent Traffic System interface (ITS).

Enabling a “Connectivity Hub,” it is envisioned that a single, certified box will be able to reliably and accurately collect and relay data from a wide range of vehicle sensors and data sources including Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) and EBS signals.

With the potential to deliver significant added value to fleet customers, ZF says it will be in the position to become a full digital service provider that displays remaining drive time limits to ensure regulatory compliance.

Offering all the digital software and hardware solutions that fleets need from a single source, ZF will integrate future-proof capabilities with software updates over the air, in the same way as updates for the tachograph such as driving and resting times. Adding value for manufacturers, ZF’s tachograph capabilities offer a simple solution to integrate speed, driving and resting time data into their vehicle dashboards.

The integration of trusted smart tachograph data with ZF’s recently launched SCALAR fleet orchestration platform will enable more efficient routing, dispatching and driver scheduling to help significantly enhance fleet efficiency.

From 2023, the smart tachograph will become the central trusted device in the commercial vehicle sector in Europe. By the third quarter 2023, manufacturers in Europe will be required to install next-generation smart tachographs in new vehicles and, by the end of 2024, they will replace analogue tachographs altogether.