ZF is using the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit as a platform to highlight its leading position in environmental sensing technology. Through its ZF TRW division, the Company is reinforcing the unique capabilities of its camera and radar technologies and showing how these are helping to enable safety and automated driving features across the full range of vehicle segments.
Stefan Sommer, CEO at ZF, said: “Our next generation camera and radar systems offer affordable solutions designed to meet increasingly stringent regulatory requirements for active safety while supporting the evolution toward automated driving. Our philosophy is to equip our sensor technology across all vehicle segments – allowing the associated safety benefits to be accessible for volume car buyers while we drive technology further in the high-end car segments.”
The next generation of front camera systems – the S-Cam4 family – includes a single lens, mono-camera version and a premium three lens TriCam version.
The S-Cam4 mono-camera features a new form factor and is capable of supporting a wider field of view than the company’s current production cameras, in order to address future market requirements such as Euro NCAP’s AEB tests for crossing bicycles and other vulnerable road users. The TriCam features a telephoto lens for improved long distance sensing and a fish-eye lens for improved field of view at short range. This combination better supports automated driving functions such as Traffic Jam Assist and Highway Driving Assist. Both are equipped with Mobileye’s EyeQ4 chipset – offering six times the processing power of the current EyeQ3.
Sommer continued: “Our cameras also feature a lightweight design compared with competing sensors. We anticipate that both the S-Cam4 and TriCam are the smallest and lightest systems in their class – a distinct advantage in terms of not hindering the driver’s view and minimizing critical weight high in the vehicle.”
Both versions are planned to start series production in 2018 with a major European vehicle manufacturer.
ZF TRW’s next generation radar family (AC1000EVO), will offer scanning ranges of up to 250m and significantly increased resolution for enhanced pedestrian detection capabilities.
Based on a new chipset AC1000Evo will provide improved range resolution during city driving for better detection of pedestrians and other vulnerable road users for Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB), while maintaining a long range at higher speeds for traditional Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) applications.
Fusion and Outlook
Sommer concluded: “Both camera and radar can deliver safety benefits as standalone sensors and when data is combined from both, we can provide a very robust solution for the more highly automated driving scenarios of the future. Looking ahead, another layer of redundancy may need to be considered so we are looking to bring a third sensing principle into the equation. Laser scanners are one option and we are exploring how we can industrialize the technology so it can be applied to a broad range of applications.”