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Vision Zero Vehicle: ZF Presents Electronics Technology to Help Address Distracted and Potential Wrong-Way Drivers

  • “Driver Distraction Assist” can help prevent accidents caused by distractions at the wheel
  • “Wrong-way Inhibit” is designed to actively guard against driving in the wrong direction
  • Vision Zero Vehicle is a milestone on the way to the vision of zero accidents and zero local emissions

Friedrichshafen. With its “Vision Zero Vehicle,” ZF has made great strides toward mobility without emissions or accidents. The concept vehicle features intelligent mechanical systems capable of helping to prevent many accidents. “Driver Distraction Assist” has the capability to recognize driver distraction – today the number-two cause of accidents after excess speed – and if necessary help steer the vehicle safely until the danger is over. “Wrong-way Inhibit” is a ZF solution with the potential to help actively prevent wrong-way driving and its frequently fatal consequences. Such safety innovations are trailblazers in the transition from assisted to autonomous driving. The Vision Zero Vehicle represents not only a significant step toward future accident-free mobility but, thanks to its highly integrated electric axle drive, it also generates no local pollution.

“With our all-electric Vision Zero Vehicle and its innovative safety systems, we’ve achieved key advances that point to the future. Especially for the transition from assisted to autonomous driving, we strive for advanced and integrated safety systems to help keep drivers and passengers safe.” says ZF CEO Dr. Stefan Sommer. Wrong-way Inhibit and Driver Distraction Assist enable the vehicle itself to actively assist in correcting causes of serious accidents. These systems also highlight a central ZF competency: intelligent and networked mechanical systems that enable vehicles to see, think and act.

Keeps an eye on the driver

Research indicates that distracted driving continues to be an issue on the road. According to a road safety study by Allianz Zentrum für Technik, around one in 10 road fatalities today is due to distraction. In 2016, distraction caused the loss of 350 lives in Germany – 94 more than drunk driving. Figures from the U.S. reveal that in 2015 alone, wandering attention caused 3,477 deaths. A study by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute carried out the previous year found that people behind the wheel are distracted more than half of the time (52 percent). They spend more than 6.4 percent of the time using their cell phones, with texting increasing the risk of accidents by a factor of 10.

“Driver Distraction Assist can help recognize lack of attention, warn the driver and, if necessary, take control until a potential danger has passed,” explains Dr. Harald Naunheimer, head of Research and Development at ZF.

The technology uses a laser-based time-of-flight interior camera with learning capability. The camera monitors the position of the driver’s head in 3D. Unlike digital video systems, it can be effective even in poor lighting. The system is designed to immediately register when the driver looks away from the road. In case of danger, it alerts the driver with an optical warning on the central display, an acoustic signal and active tightening of the seat belt. Simultaneously, the assistant is capable of taking over steering, also staying on track in curves. If the driver still does not react – the system can steadily reduce the drive torque. Finally, if the driver continues to ignore all warnings, the assistant can cut the throttle response and attempt to stop the car in a safe spot.

Actively prevents wrong-way driving

The ZF innovation Wrong-way Inhibit is above all designed to actively safeguard against driving the wrong way, which can have grave consequences. The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board reports that an average of 360 people are victims of wrong-way drivers annually on U.S. highways (in a study from 2004-2009). In Germany the total number of fatalities in 2016 was 12 – with 2,200 radio traffic announcements of wrong way incidents (according to the German Automobile Club ADAC). “With Wrong-way Inhibit we want to help put an end to tragic accidents caused by wrong-way driving,” says Naunheimer.

The system reacts as soon as there is an indication that the driver is about to enter a road in the wrong direction – whether due to distraction, poor visibility or disorientation. For example, if the driver heads for a freeway exit instead of an entry road, the system can first warn with an acoustic signal, seatbelt vibration and an optical signal on the dashboard display. Additionally, a significantly higher steering wheel resistance reinforces the message to the driver that he is about to make a wrong turn. If the driver still attempts to go in the wrong direction, the system can keep the car on the outside edge of the lane, brake initially to walking speed and then to a stop. Furthermore, the high beam headlights and the hazard warning lights can activate to warn oncoming traffic. The system only allows the driver to drive out of the danger zone along the edge of the road if there is space or if he shifts into reverse.

The Vision Zero Vehicle uses multiple approaches to help detect which road and which direction is right or wrong: by high-accuracy maps that are constantly updated via the cloud as well as traffic signs and road markings that are recognized and interpreted using a front camera system.

Zero local emissions

ZF’s Vision Zero Vehicle is helping to set the course for an accident-free and zero local emissions future. The vehicle features a 150 kW electric axle drive system for dynamic accelerative force. The compact drive unit houses not only the electric motor but also a two-stage one-speed spur gear drive, a differential and power electronics. It is housed in an innovative, space-saving modular ZF rear axle system called mSTARS (modular Semi-Trailing Arm Rear Suspension). The modular axle system makes it easier to electrify volume production vehicle platforms – even existing ones as demonstrated in the Vision Zero Vehicle. With mSTARS, ZF provides manufacturers with a basis for a wide range of applications in multiple vehicle segments. The solution is suitable for hybrid, fuel-cell and battery-powered vehicles as well as for combination with conventional all-wheel modules or the Active Kinematics Control active rear axle steering.

Video Footage: ZF Global Press Event 2017 (click here for preview or direct download)

The technology highlights, which ZF is presenting at the Global Press Event 2017 in the run up to the IAA, have already been fixed on film. The footage material, which is sorted thematically and ready for broadcasting, is available for online and AV media for your reporting.

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Vision Zero Vehicle: ZF Presents Electronics Technology to Help Address Distracted and Potential Wrong-Way Drivers

Friedrichshafen. With its “Vision Zero Vehicle,” ZF has made great strides toward mobility without emissions or accidents. The concept vehicle features intelligent mechanical systems capable of ...

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Vision Zero Vehicle

With its “Vision Zero Vehicle,” ZF has made great strides toward mobility without emissions or accidents.

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Vision Zero Vehicle

With its “Vision Zero Vehicle,” ZF has made great strides toward mobility without emissions or accidents.

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Vision Zero Vehicle

With its “Vision Zero Vehicle,” ZF has made great strides toward mobility without emissions or accidents.

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Comfort Maneuvering

Intelligent mechanical systems enable the Vision Zero Vehicle to see, think and act.

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Comfort Maneuvering

Intelligent mechanical systems enable the Vision Zero Vehicle to see, think and act.

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Driver Distraction Assist

“Driver Distraction Assist” can help recognize lack of attention, warn the driver and, if necessary, take control until a potential danger has passed.

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Driver Distraction Assist

“Driver Distraction Assist” can help recognize lack of attention, warn the driver and, if necessary, take control until a potential danger has passed.

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Image

Driver Distraction Assist

“Driver Distraction Assist” can help recognize lack of attention, warn the driver and, if necessary, take control until a potential danger has passed.

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Image

Wrong-way Inhibit

“Wrong-way Inhibit” is designed to actively guard against driving in the wrong direction.

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Wrong-way Inhibit

“Wrong-way Inhibit” is designed to actively guard against driving in the wrong direction.

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Wrong-way Inhibit

“Wrong-way Inhibit” is designed to actively guard against driving in the wrong direction.

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mSTARS

Zero local emissions: The “Vision Zero Vehicle” features a 150 kW electric axle drive system for dynamic accelerative force. It is housed in an innovative, space-saving modular ZF rear axle system called mSTARS (modular Semi-Trailing Arm Rear Suspension).

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mSTARS

Zero local emissions: The “Vision Zero Vehicle” features a 150 kW electric axle drive system for dynamic accelerative force. It is housed in an innovative, space-saving modular ZF rear axle system called mSTARS (modular Semi-Trailing Arm Rear Suspension).

More information
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Video

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Video Footage: ZF „Vision Zero Vehicle“ Summary

It helps prevent drivers from taking the wrong highway ramp (Wrong-way Inhibit), it warns and intervenes when the driver is distracted (Driver Distraction Assist): The Vision Zero Vehicle by ZF features intelligent mechanical systems and advanced sensors capable of helping to prevent many accidents. Have a look at its features in this short video montage. This video footage presents the main features of the innovative prototype. Unrestricted use for media and blogs. (Download of the videos only via direct download (preview resolution) - open video and click on the video again with right mouse click). For high resolution video material please contact presse@zf.com.

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Video Footage: Wrong-way Inhibit in the „Vision Zero Vehicle“ by ZF

With the “Wrong-Way Inhibit”, ZF has implemented a feature in the “Vision Zero Vehicle” that is designed to help prevent wrong-way driving and its frequently fatal consequences. You can see it in action in this video: The driver receives optical and haptic warning signals, the vehicle alerts other motorists with its hazard flashers, guides the driver safely off the road, reduces the drive torque and finally brings the car to a stop. The footage shows scenes shot from external and internal POV and zooms in on an example scenario of taking a highway exit ramp. Unrestricted use for media and blogs. Video-Download in high resolution and low resolution (only via direct download).

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Video Footage: „Driver Distraction Assist” in the „Vision Zero Vehicle by ZF

“Driver Distraction Assist” can help recognize distractions at the wheel. The feature monitors the interior from inside the car with a time-of-flight 3D-camera and recognizes when the driver is not paying proper attention to the traffic. The system then warns and supports the driver in an emergency until a potentially dangerous situation is resolved. The footage shows scenes of the camera’s operating mode and its data analysis, possible driving scenarios and system responses shot from internal and external POV. Unrestricted use for media and blogs. (Download of the videos only via direct download (preview resolution) - open video and click on the video again with right mouse click). For high resolution video material please contact presse@zf.com.

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Video Footage: Autonomous Driving with ZF’s „Vision Zero Vehicle“

With its numerous innovative safety features, ZF’s Vision Zero Vehicle is a trailblazer in the transition from assisted and autonomous driving. Most important in this regard: the transfer of control between human driver and machine. The footage shows extended scenes of driving scenarios, interior and HMI display shots during activation of autonomous driving and the controlled transfer back to the driver. This also includes the Comfort Evasion Function, in which the vehicle automatically evades an obstacle by slight lateral movement. Unrestricted use for media and blogs. (Download of the videos only via direct download (preview resolution) - open video and click on the video again with right mouse click). For high resolution video material please contact presse@zf.com.

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Video Footage: Occupant Safety Systems in the „Vision Zero Vehicle“

The „Vision Zero Vehicle” demonstrates how occupant safety and comfort work together. The footage shows this via two scenarios: The “Predictive Safety” feature automatically tightens the seatbelts and stabilizes the passengers when the car is driving over an obstacle on the track – which the system detects by checking cloud based map data. And the integrated child seat smartly solves an everyday situation: If children are being placed into a rear child seat, the belt buckle will rise just in time as a friendly reminder and make buckling up easier. Unrestricted use for media and blogs. Video-Download in high resolution and low resolution (only via direct download).

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Video Footage: ZF „Vision Zero Vehicle“ Highlights

It helps prevent drivers from taking the wrong highway ramp (Wrong-way Inhibit), it warns and intervenes when the driver is distracted (Driver Distraction Assist): The Vision Zero Vehicle by ZF features intelligent mechanical systems and advanced sensors capable of helping to prevent many accidents. Have a look at its highlights in a ready cut clip. Unrestricted use for media and blogs. Video-Download in high resolution and low resolution (only via direct download).

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