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Schaeffler and VDL are joining forces for the future of self-driving electric shuttles.

The future of urban mobility could change as family businesses Schaeffler and VDL Groep have announced a strategic partnership. Together they have developed a self-driving van for group transport. The goal is the development and production of a new generation of self-driving electric shuttles for public transport. The first prototype will be unveiled next week at the IAA Mobility in Munich

Both companies are joining forces to leverage their respective expertise in systems engineering, development, manufacturing and public transportation, with the goal of a rapid commercial rollout of these forward-looking shuttles. Mobileye, a partner providing autonomous driving technology for the project, plays an important role in this vision. Negotiations with public transport companies for pilot projects are already at an advanced stage.

The partnership responds to the increasing demand for sustainable and easily accessible transport solutions, especially in busy urban areas. These self-driving shuttles can be called up on-demand via an app, making them a viable solution for local public transport that is both emission-free and low-noise.

A look at the future of mobility

Willem van der Leegte, president of VDL Groep, emphasized that autonomous shuttles will play an important role in our future mobility needs. Klaus Rosenfeld, CEO of Schaeffler AG, joined in, highlighting the technology's potential to transport more passengers safely and easily.

VDL Groep leads the way when it comes to innovation in automotive and bus production and is the European market leader in the electrification of heavier vehicles. Schaeffler is a leading global supplier of electrified powertrains and innovative steering systems.

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The first deployment of these newly developed shuttles will take place in Germany, the first European country to allow the use of Level 4 autonomous vehicles on public roads. Production will take place in VDL's Mobility Innovation Center in Born. Production volumes are expected to increase to several thousand units per year by 2030, depending on market demand.

The collaboration between SchaefflerVDL Group en Mobileye promises to set new standards for urban transport. This outlines a future defined by sustainable, efficient and accessible public transport

Photo: VDL Groep, Schaeffler.

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