Friedrichshafen/Hanover. Greater safety and improved efficiency through automated driving are mobility megatrends that are increasingly relevant to the commercial vehicle sector. ZF is demonstrating its capabilities in these areas by showcasing its Innovation Truck 2016 developed for IAA in Hanover this year. With the vision of accident-free driving or “Vision Zero,” ZF is working on enhancing current assist systems for practical use on the road. Its efforts have resulted in a Highway Driving Assist (HDA) system which helps to keep the vehicle in its lane, and an Evasive Maneuver Assist (EMA) system which allows a truck to independently evade obstacles and brake. The latter was developed in cooperation with WABCO. The Innovation Truck 2016 also boasts a highly efficient solution with its autonomous maneuvering function SafeRange. Its intelligently networked systems allow the concept vehicle to autonomously maneuver to the loading bay in a precise and efficient manner, and if needed, with zero local emissions.
Thanks to widely developed assist systems, modern trucks already offer a high level of safety. Now, with the ZF Innovation Truck 2016, ZF has pioneered the next level of active assist systems. Both the Evasive Maneuver Assist (EMA) and the Highway Driving Assist (HDA) systems can help prevent accidents more effectively. The SafeRange maneuvering system also boosts efficiency at the truck terminal – the key here is the linking of ZF's autonomous driving functions. Applying its competence in sensor technology, control electronics and mechatronic systems, the technology company enables the Innovation Truck 2016 to see, think and act.
Avoidance instead of collision
Typically, hazards occur at the tail end of a traffic jam on the freeway. If a truck driver fails to see this in time, the outcome could be fatal. In the ZF Innovation Truck, however, the unique EMA system takes control in this situation. The assistance function detects whether Advanced Emergency Braking or driver-initiated braking is sufficient to stop the vehicle before hitting an obstacle. If braking alone is insufficient to avoid a rear-end collision, the EMA directs the truck with its trailer independently (activated by the steering motion of the driver to the right or left) and safely toward the desired free lane or hard shoulder. ZF developed the system in cooperation with WABCO in early 2016. It analyzes information from cameras and laser sensors, and then activates the ReAX active electric power steering as well as the service brakes. A multi-stage warning cascade keeps the driver involved so that the system can be overridden at any time.
Just like trains on a track
The Highway Driving Assist (HDA) feature in the ZF Innovation Truck 2016 keeps the vehicle in its lane and effectively helps protect drivers from the often very severe consequences resulting from lack of attention, distraction or a few seconds of microsleep. The system not only warns the driver that the semi-trailer truck is unintentionally moving out of its lane, it also actively and independently keeps the truck in the lane. At the same time, it automatically maintains a safe distance from the vehicles in front at any speed, also including stop-and-go functionality.
Efficient driving at the truck terminal
The intense networking and automation of systems and functions help to considerably increase the efficiency and safety of workflows at truck terminals and transport hubs. Collisions while maneuvering can result in costly vehicle damage and downtimes while additionally increasing loading and unloading times.
The Innovation Truck 2016 adapts a new approach. The system’s eyes and brain do not necessarily have to be located in the truck to automatically actuate its electrically powered mechatronic systems. That’s why, for the SafeRange autonomous maneuvering function, ZF has networked the truck to systems in the truck terminal. The truck to be maneuvered only needs a target on its trailer for the stationary cameras on the loading bay to be able to detect it. A computer inside the terminal calculates the trajectory and transmits the data via WiFi to the ZF Openmatics telematics system in the truck. This is where the vehicle control system takes over, using ZF's active electric power steering, ReAX, and the TraXon Hybrid automatic transmission system to steer the truck to the loading bay electrically and emission-free. A tablet doubles as an HMI control system that can be used to maneuver the truck from outside the driver’s cab.