In future, ZF won't just connect vehicles, but also freight (Photo: ZF)

ZF has developed a bluetooth-enabled tagging system that will let logistics companies monitor the state ofcargo that is being transported.

The automotive supplier’s “deTAGtive logistics” software will enhance ZF’s fleet management platform, which is marketed by its Openmatics division.

The new software can document details of sensitive transports, using so-called deTAGtive tags, bluetooth-enabled battery-powered sensors with a surface area smaller than a business card. The tags can be installed anywhere and last five years.

ZF uses Microsoft Azure cloud technology for the system, specifically the Microsoft Azure IoT hub, the SQL Data Warehouse and the Microsoft Azure Stream Analytics.

Separately, ZF announced a the Beijing Auto Show that it is bundling all its electric-vehicle operations in China. “By bringing all activities relating to the electrification of cars and commercial vehicles under one roof, we are giving a clear message to the market in terms of the huge significance of these future technologies,” ZF CEO Stefan Sommer said.

The new head of ZF’s e-mobility division, Joerg Grotendorst, predicted that electric vehicle demand is set to grow rapidly in China as emission limits are tightened. Said Grotendorst: “We want to be one of the leading e-mobility suppliers in China by 2020."