Friedrichshafen. From fully automated delivery trucks to robot taxis of the future: With the rise of automation, new concepts for driver workplaces in the transport industry are in demand. The Trendsetting Cockpit interactive display by the cooperation of ZF with Faurecia, which is a static demonstration unit, is an example of where the design journey could take us. It comes without a steering wheel and pedals and is equipped with three screens. Drivers can also choose where to sit. This provides for greater flexibility, freedom to move around and new actuation options. Faurecia, a ZF partner company, particularly developed the cockpit design and the interaction concept.
“The Trendsetting Cockpit will give the drivers of large taxis or delivery trucks many of the freedoms that they want as we head toward automated driving,” explains Uwe Class, director of Integrated Vehicle Safety, ZF. “We have created personalized space for the non-driving different use cases, putting the driver and passenger sides of the vehicle on equal footing,” adds Eric Vanel, Responsible of System Integration at Faurecia Cockpit of the Future team.
One of the main advantages: if Level 4 light commercial vehicles are operated almost without exception on autopilot, truck drivers can spend more time on other things. The steering wheel and pedals would potentially be in the way of movement within the cockpit of the future. In addition, they can also be a hindrance for delivery truck drivers as they frequently have to get in and out of the vehicle. The ZF & Faurecia Trendsetting Cockpit would be free of these conventional operating elements. Steering, acceleration and braking are performed by actuators that function in the background and receive their orders from the vehicle's centralized computer, ZF ProAI.
If the driver decides to drive manually, he or she could do this using the integrated control lever in the Trendsetting Cockpit. This makes it possible to accelerate, brake and change direction with just one finger. This ZF & Faurecia control concept for fully automated light commercial vehicles also gives the driver the choice of whether to sit in the right or left front seat. This creates numerous benefits not only for a variety of delivery situations, but also enables taxi drivers, for example, to offer guests an easier option to get into the vehicle at any time. Light commercial vehicle and van manufacturers could also benefit because it would no longer be necessary to produce both right or left-hand vehicle models for different markets, thus reducing complexity.
Everything on the monitor
The secondary driving functions in the Trendsetting Cockpit display unit such as turn indicators, horn and windshield wipers can also be activated from either side of the vehicle via a centrally positioned touchscreen. The traditional operating and design elements are no longer there. Instead, ZF & Faurecia have integrated two additional screens into the left and right of the dashboard. They are dependent on the selected driver seat configuration and can be used in almost any way, such as displaying important driving data or performing job tasks during the fully automated drive. In addition, there is no steering wheel that could block the view or access to the screens.