For the first time since its acquisition of the U.S. company TRW Automotive in May 2015, the expanded ZF Group will present itself to the automobile industry and the broader public at IAA in Frankfurt in September 2015. The now third largest automotive supplier in the world has bundled its expanded product portfolio to focus on the themes of efficiency, safety, and automated driving. The highlight of the Group’s IAA trade show exhibit is the Advanced Urban Vehicle: The Cloud-connected city car is purely electrically powered with a semi-automated drive feature and impressively demonstrates ZF’s competencies. The concept car dominates ZF’s 1 400 square meter booth in Hall 8 and shows how complete systems with broad customer benefits will be possible following the integration of ZF TRW.
At first glance, ZF’s booth in Hall 8 demonstrates the future of mobility. Along three stations connected by a road, the company is showing its entire portfolio which focuses on the themes of efficiency, safety, and automated driving. “The exhibit was designed mainly to demonstrate that the product range of ZF TRW excellently and synergistically complements the company's existing product portfolio,” says Dr. Stefan Sommer, CEO of ZF.
Advanced Urban Vehicle: intelligent networking
One four-wheeled trade show highlight shows the potential that these intelligently networked individual chassis, driveline, and driver assistance systems have to offer. For example, ZF’s Advanced Urban Vehicle is a model solution for individual urban transport in the compact and subcompact segment. The features of this concept car include its close-to-wheel, pure electric rear-axle drive, the eTB (electric Twist Beam), an innovative front axle with a turning angle of up to 75 degrees, as well as two driver assistance functions. One is the Smart Parking Assist, which maneuvers the vehicle into virtually any small parking space – remote-controlled, at the push of a button, and using mobile devices such as a smart phone or smart watch. The Cloud-based assistance function, PreVision Cloud Assist, reduces, if needed, the drive torque in a timely manner prior to cornering, thereby also reducing the speed without mechanical braking. Also, the driver is in direct contact with the Advanced Urban Vehicle via the hands-on detection feature and the display on the steering wheel.
Complete system solutions from a single source
Three examples show how the competencies of these once separate companies are bundled together to leverage new product developments with added value for the customer. Regenerative braking is the energy recovery mechanism used to generate electric energy when braking. Hybrid and all-electric vehicles have featured such regenerative brakes since the very beginning. The vehicle is not slowed down by the service brakes on the wheel but by the electric motor. However, the braking effect produced can only handle gentle braking maneuvers. With powerful braking actions, the service brake still kicks in. The problem is that jerky deceleration interferes with driving comfort every time the braking effect is "switched" from the electric motor to the service brake. That is why optimum switching, so-called "brake blending" is required – and ZF can meet this need in the future by integrating the brake and driveline with camera and radar systems. In addition to comfort, the entire energy management system can be optimized if the brakes and the e-motor come from the same source. This reduces wear and tear so that the hybrid and e-vehicles become considerably more efficient.
Stability programs are already preventing a vehicle from reaching its handling limit or even skidding by applying the braking system to individual wheels. By networking the steering system, brakes, and active chassis systems, as well as camera and radar systems, ZF was even able to extend these limits. A combination of steering system, brake, and rear axle steering AKC (Active Kinematics Control), along with information from the camera and radar systems, can stabilize driving through systematic steering and braking interventions and prevent lateral slippage of the vehicle. Secondly, networking the steering system, active CDC (Continuous Damping Control), and the camera system offers advantages. Thanks to information from the camera, the damping hardness and the steering can be adjusted to bumpy road surfaces in advance. This ensures that the tires have better contact with the road, thereby ensuring greater safety reserves and higher driving comfort. Both of these viable driver-controlled systems not only increase vehicle safety, they also offer the ideal basis for emergency braking and collision avoidance assistance systems.
Experience ZF live as part of the New Mobility World
In addition to its booth, ZF is presenting its technologies repeatedly during the visitor days at the New Mobility World at the F12 open-air area of the Frankfurt trade show grounds. There, among other highlights, the Advanced Urban Vehicle can be seen in action showing off the functions that reflect its innovative character. In addition, a test vehicle equipped with automated Emergency Steering Assist and an Active Control Retractor (ACR) seat belt system will also be showing its capabilities in the open-air area. This vehicle can demonstrate the benefits of integrating advanced cognitive safety systems. Equipped with Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB), a further prototype will prove how data fusion from camera and radar sensors is beneficial for automated driving functions.
ZF press conference at IAA
On September 15, 2015, at 11:30 a.m. in the Congress Center of Messe Frankfurt (CMF), Room “Illusion”, CEO Dr. Stefan Sommer will hold a press conference to inform the trade and business press of the company’s current situation and provide essential facts and figures.