On the Road to Zero Accidents and Zero Emissions: The ZF Vision Zero Vehicle

Vision Zero – a world with zero accidents and zero emissions – will only become a reality when all vehicles are electric, autonomous and connected.

On the road toward this reality, ZF’s all-electric Vision Zero Vehicle is reaching important milestones in the transition phase from assisted to autonomous driving. Innovative safety systems enable the vehicle to see, think and act – even if the driver is distracted. As part of these efforts, ZF has simultaneously addressed two decisive causes of accidents.

Zero Accidents Electronic Guardian Angel for Distracted Drivers

Driver Distraction Assist: Keeps the driver’s eyes on the road

To counteract rising accident statistics due to distracted driving at the wheel, Driver Distraction Assist consists of a laser-based time-of-flight interior camera with learning capabilities that helps keep the driver’s eyes on the road. It records the head position three dimensionally and – unlike other digital video systems – does so reliably even under difficult lighting conditions and in darkness.

If the system recognizes that the driver is distracted in a critical situation, it first issues a visual warning in the central display panel, followed by an acoustic signal and, lastly, a haptic warning signaled by the safety belt actively tightening. At the same time, the assistant supports steering, also staying on track in curves. If the driver does not respond to repeated warnings, the assistant takes over throttle response and brings the vehicle to a safe place to stop.

Wrong-way Inhibit actively prevents potential wrong-way drivers

The innovative ZF function Wrong-way Inhibit can prevent potential wrong-way drivers from turning onto roads in the wrong direction.

For example, if a driver tries to turn onto a freeway exit instead of the freeway entry road, the system activates as soon as he or she uses the indicator and turns in the corresponding direction. In addition to visual, acoustic and haptic warnings, like belt vibration, the steering resistance also increases. If the potential wrong-way driver makes the turn despite all warnings, the assistance system warns the oncoming vehicles using dipped beam headlights and hazard warning lights and then moves the vehicle at a slow speed to a safe stopping position along the side of the road. Only if there is suitable evasive space or the driver goes into reverse, does the Vision Zero Vehicle allow the driver to operate the vehicle along the roadside to get out of the hazard zone.

The Wrong-way Inhibit knows the right direction thanks to the high-resolution, and up-to-date maps it gets from the cloud and the front camera that accurately recognizes street markings and traffic signs.

Zero Emissions Locally Emission-Free Dynamics

The Vision Zero Vehicle is not only paving the way toward zero accidents but also zero emissions and is aided in this process by an electric axle drive system with an output of 150 kilowatts that can power a mid-sized car comfortably and powerfully.

This compact drive system is integrated into the innovative rear axle modular system called mSTARS, which stands for modular Semi-Trailing Arm Rear Suspension. This modular system is compatible with the most varied requirements and can be combined with hybrid, fuel cell and electric drives as well as conventional all-wheel modules or the active rear axle steering (AKC).

This is how mSTARS makes it easy and flexible to electrify volume-produced vehicles – OEMs can respond to different market requirements with just one chassis variant.

ZF Vision Zero Eco System

The automotive industry is in the middle of revolutionary change. In order to be able to cope with this change, ZF has invested in companies, creating a close network of strategic cooperation.