Shaping the Next Decade of Autonomous Driving
This starts with our passion for advanced safety systems. ZF’s scope includes the key elements of automated driving functions.
ZF products in detail
Automated on the road
ZF designs and develops the full array of sensors, processors and actuators as well as algorithms and HMI (human-machine interface) devices that form the foundation for automated driving.
With its long history in advanced driver assist systems dating back to the early seventies, ZF TRW, the active and passive safety technology division, is a leading global player in this area.
- SEE - with most modern radar and camera systems.
- THINK - with a central control unit which acts as the brain of the vehicle – fusing and processing data from the sensors to make high level safety decisions and trigger vehicle actuators to assist in vehicle control, collision avoidance and pre-crash occupant safety functions.
- ACT - with the industry’s broadest array of vehicle actuators for various applications like the INTEGRATED BRAKE CONTROL SYSTEM to support an advanced safety system such as automatic emergency braking and advanced automated driving functions.
ZF Concept Cockpit
One key element for autonomous driving is a reliable and clear communication between the driver and the vehicle. ZF demonstrates four innovative approaches to the human-machine interface (HMI) as part of its Cockpit Concept.
1: The multifunctional steering wheel from ZF TRW simplifies the safe transfer of the wheel from autopilots to the driver, which today must be possible at any time after a certain warning period. The integrated hands on/off detection lets the car know when the driver actually has a firm grip on the wheel.
2: With the patented Swipetronic, ZF can offer an equally smart and high-quality shift-by-wire alternative for automatic transmissions. One central feature is a new kind of touch display that is based on the principle of electrostatic charge. This enables flat, virtual buttons or switches to be touched just like the real thing. A touchscreen operating concept based on this new display technology opens up the option of individual operating functions appearing on any preferred area of the HMI unit. They are actuated by virtual buttons of the most diverse texture, but feel real to the fingertip.
3: Particularly when cars are on the road in highly automated mode, driver monitoring becomes significant. An important tool for this is the advanced, camera-based facial recognition feature which is as well part of the ZF Concept Cockpit.
4: From passive safety systems like a new seat belt system consisting of a buckle lifter (Active Buckle Lifter – ABL) and seat-belt tightener (Active Control Retractor – ACR) the ZF Concept Cockpit derives a supporting feature for automated driving: By generating highly frequent, insistent pulsations, the seat belt also clearly informs the driver, if necessary, that action on his part is required.
Highway Driving Assist
Highway Driving Assist is designed to automatically steer, brake and accelerate at speeds from 0 kph. The combination of Adaptive Cruise Control and Lane Centering Assist keeps the vehicle on track, helping to maintain a defined safe distance to the vehicle traveling in front.
The Highway Driving Assist test vehicle integrates various technologies from ZF TRW. The AC1000 radar sensor, the forward-looking camera, the Belt Drive electric power steering and the EBC 460 electronic stability control enable a combination of Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) and Lane Centering Assist (LCA).
The ACC function helps keep the vehicle at a defined speed as long as no slower vehicle moves into the lane in front of it. In the latter case the vehicle brake system helps maintain a safe distance (constant time interval as defined by the driver) to the vehicle traveling in front. At the same time, the forward-looking camera senses the lane marking to help keep the vehicle centered in the lane with the assistance of the electric steering system. The system is designed to allow the driver to override it at any time.
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 in size than its predecessor, and consumes less power. It features an extended 200 meter range and an increased field of view, and offers digital beam forming technology for speed-adaptive field of view; fast ramp modulation waveform for improved angular discrimination; and 77GHz silicon germanium technology.
AC2000 is capable of fusion with a camera or other DAS sensors for safety and comfort functions including 360° environmental sensing for pedestrian detection, blind spot detection, lane change assist, side impact sensing and low-speed forward collision warning. Depending on mounting locations in the vehicle, the sensors can be used for multiple applications either singly or in groups. The sensors can operate independently or be connected to a central driver assist system data fusion hub to build a more complete model of the environment around the vehicle.
Part of ZF TRW’s next-generation S-Cam4 family - the premium three-lens Tri-Cam camera is designed to support advanced automated driving functions. This fourth-generation camera features an expanded object detection range and field of view to meet the increasingly stringent regulatory requirements for advanced driver assist system technologies.
The Tri-Cam adds a telephoto lens for improved long distance sensing, and a fish-eye lens for improved 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.
World class packaging includes an integrated processor and imager in a size similar to a deck of playing cards.