TodayApril 15, 2022

ZF driving the autonomous future

With the acquisition of TRW, ZF has positioned itself to be a contender in Autonomous Driving, allowing cars to See, Think, and Act, with technology that will shape the next decade.

ZF is a leader in sensors, intelligent control units, and actuators. At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), the company demonstrated the interaction between humans and machines through the human-machine interface (HMI).

From showing examples of chauffering in Level 3 to Level 5, showcasing the intersection between safety, technology, and autonomous driving.

ZF’s “Dream Car” bundles technology and Vision Zero to reduce the number of accidents and increase the quality of life. ZF CEO Dr. Konstantin Sauer. “At 2018 CES, we will be presenting solutions nearly ready for volume production. They underline our position as a reliable, innovative supplier to the automotive industry as well as an attractive partner for new providers in the changing mobility market.”

“In the coming decade, our technologies will decisively shape the path towards autonomous driving,” announces Dr. Stefan Sommer, ZF’s CEO in the run-up to the CES 2016. Thanks to sensors, complex electronic control units, and mechatronic systems, ZF’s technology is already enabling vehicles to see, think, and act autonomously. According to Sommer, “Our goal is to enable automated driving functions across all vehicle segments. Only through high market penetration can we make a real difference to overall road safety.”

Active safety systems are the foundation for automated driving functions. They help protect passengers, drivers, pedestrians and will enable automated functions in emergency situations. The next step is geared toward highway driving, with partial and fully-automated drive functions for optimization of safety in congested city traffic.

“Our goal is to enable automated driving functions across all vehicle segments. Only through high market penetration can we make a real difference to overall road safety.” Dr. Stefan Sommer, CEO ZF Friedrichshafen AG

The future of mobility lies in intelligent networking. By interconnecting the car and driver assistance systems with cloud-connected Advanced Urban Vehicle that features partially automated functionality.

Driving sounds easy, till you are about to get in an accident. Whether it is rear-ending someone, or being rear-ended ZF develops and designs a full array of sensors, actuators, and processors, in combination with algorithms and human-machine interface (HMI) devices that form the basis for automated driving.

Since the early seventies, ZF and TRW have been making history in advanced driver assist systems (ADAS). They have made the active and passive safety technology division a world leader in this area.

Automated on the road

SEE – the world with the most modern radar, sensors, and camera systems.

THINK – through a central control unit that acts as the central brain in the vehicle that fuses and processes data from the sensors to make high-level decisions on safety that will set up vehicle actuators to assist in vehicle control, pre-crash occupant safety functions, and collision avoidance.

ACT – in combination with the industry’s broadest array of vehicle actuators for many applications such as the integrated brake system to support advanced safety systems such as advanced automated driving functions and automatic emergency braking.

Highway Driving Assist

Highway Driving Assist is designed to steer, brake, and accelerate at various speeds automatically. The combination of Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) and Lane Centering Assist plants the vehicle on the track, helping to maintain a fixed safe distance from the vehicle traveling in front.

The Highway Driving Assist test vehicle integrates various technologies from ZF TRW. The EBC 460 electronic stability control, AC1000 radar sensor, the forward-looking camera, the Belt Drive electric power steering enable a combination of Lane Centering Assist (LCA) and Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC).

The ACC function helps keep the vehicle at a defined speed assuming a car that is slower moves into the lane. In the latter case, the vehicle brake system will help maintain a safe distance to the vehicle traveling in front. The forward-looking camera senses the road marking to help keep the car centered in the lane with the help of the electric steering system. The system is designed to allow the driver to override it at any time.

AC2000 radar

The AC2000 is a high-performance 77GHz front radar designed to address consumer demand for adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, and automated driving functions.

The AC2000 is smaller than its predecessor and consumes less power. It features an extended 200-meter range and an increased field of view, and offers digital beamforming technology for the speed-adaptive field of view; fast ramp modulation waveform for improved angular discrimination; and 77GHz silicon germanium technology.

AC2000 can fuse a camera or other DAS sensors for safety and comfort functions including a 360° environmental sensing for pedestrian detection, lane change assist, blind-spot detection, low-speed forward collision warning, and side-impact sensing. The sensors can be used for multiple applications, depending on mounting locations in the vehicle, in groups, or individually. The sensors can operate independently or be connected to a central ADAS data fusion hub to build a complete model of the environment around the vehicle.

Tri-Cam camera

Part of ZF TRW’s next-generation S-Cam4 family is the premium three-lens Tri-Cam camera which is designed to support advanced automated driving functions. This fourth-generation camera features an expanded object detection range and a field of view to meet the increasingly stringent regulatory requirements for ADAS technologies.

The Tri-Cam adds a telephoto lens for improved long-distance sensing, and a fish-eye lens for enhanced short-range sensing ideal for semi-automated driving functions such as highway driving assist and traffic jam assist. The S-Cam4 family is equipped with Mobileye’s Eye Q4 image processor and object recognition algorithms together with the company’s longitudinal and lateral control algorithms to further enhance performance in premium driver-assist and automated driving applications.

Lou Ann Hammond

Lou Ann Hammond is the CEO of Carlist and Driving the Nation. She is the co-host of Real Wheels Washington Post carchat every Friday morning and is the Automotive, energy correspondent for The John Batchelor Show and a Contributor to Automotive Electronics magazine headquartered in Korea. Hammond is a founding member of the Women's World Car of the Year #WWCOTY, and board member of the Women in Automotive.

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