Imagine driving just as safely and efficiently on unfamiliar roads as on your daily commute home: ZF will show how this might be possible in the future with its cloud-based drive strategy PreVision Cloud Assist in its Advanced Urban Vehicle concept. If the driver corners too quickly, when activated, PreVision Cloud Assist reduces the torque, thus slowing the speed without using mechanical brakes. Unlike a purely GPS-controlled advanced driver assistance system, PreVision Cloud Assist not only takes into account topographical data, but also incorporates into its analysis experiences from previous drives along the same route. For example, a driver who always corners at the ideal speed that is usual for him or her. This makes driving the car more efficient, reduces CO2 emissions, and increases driver safety.
“The possibilities that will emerge from a cloud-based advanced driver assistance system like PreVision Cloud Assist are infinite,” explains Dr. Harald Naunheimer, Head of Corporate Research and Development at ZF Friedrichshafen AG. “This is reflected in the current design of the ZF Advanced Urban Vehicle with regard to safety and efficiency.” First of all, because the assistance system generally prevents cornering too quickly and putting the driver in a dangerous driving situation. “Secondly, the system provides support when it comes to anticipatory driving – this adds value in terms of energy efficiency, environmental conservation, and also simultaneously extends the range of the electrically driven Advanced Urban Vehicle.”
Cornering safely and efficiently
The assistance function of the PreVision Cloud Assist goes far beyond internal vehicle networking solutions and brings cloud connectivity into the car. Because each time the vehicle is driven, the driver assist system collects all relevant data on vehicle position, the current speed, as well as the transverse and longitudinal acceleration, plus it stores this information in the cloud. From this data as well as the GPS map material pre-installed in the system, the function calculates the optimal driving style for each section of the road driven. If the driver corners faster than usual on the same route, for example, PreVision Cloud Assist reduces the torque early on until the Advanced Urban Vehicle has reached the ideal speed and the car corners without the driver having to press the brakes. Afterward, the driver can accelerate out of the corner again at any preferred speed.
Experience instead of map knowledge
The driver keeps his or her foot on the accelerator even when the system activates. If the driver needs to adjust the speed, he can take over control via the assistance process at any time and oversteer the function through kickdown. When the same corner is driven the next time, the previous driving behavior is automatically taken into consideration. “PreVision Cloud Assist is designed as a learning system to create optimal added value,” explains Harald Naunheimer. “With each drive, important information about the road conditions, the road width, or visibility of the corner is stored; data that no purely GPS map-based application can access. PreVision Cloud Assist, on the other hand, handles the data precisely as experience and thus supports the driver exactly as he or she needs.”
Modes for sporty and fuel-efficient drivers
The assistance function can be turned on and off at the press of a button. Thanks to the two system variants, the driver can adapt PreVision Cloud Assist in advance to his or her personal driving style. In the Eco mode, the assistance function selects the most economical driving style for the impending corner and reduces the speed accordingly early. Just as efficient, but without having to sacrifice driving dynamics, the driver can chose the Sport mode. The system throttles back at a later point, but still just in time to reach the ideal speed entering the corner without the mechanical brakes, but with electrical recuperation in the driving machine.
One system, infinite options
“But PreVision Cloud Assist is not only interesting when it comes to the current driving event,” explains Naunheimer. “On the one hand, cloud-based technology offers the option of analyzing stored driving data after the fact and using it to further optimize the products installed in the vehicle.” On the other hand, due to the enormous storage resources, many additional factors can be integrated into the analysis and be made available at any preferred location. This allows real-time data, such as weather or road conditions, to be integrated into the system. In addition, drivers on unfamiliar routes could benefit from the experience of other vehicles networked with the system. This would make the passenger car just as safe and efficient on unknown roads as on a daily drive home.