ZF’s expertise is not limited to innovative assistance systems, though. With its autonomous driving functions, the Vision Zero Vehicle demonstrates what future mobility might look like. The Vision Zero Vehicle informs the driver at an early stage of any road sections where automated driving is possible. The driver then presses two buttons on the ZF steering wheel and the autopilot takes over.
- Comfort Maneuvering: Even fast lane changes almost feel like a smooth straight drive for the occupants. This is particularly important for fully automated driving, because the vehicle occupants aren’t focused on the road the whole time and are able to occupy themselves with other things. Accordingly, heavy steering maneuvers, for example, can feel unpleasant. From a technical perspective, this requires the interaction of ZF’s electric power steering (EPS) at the front and the AKC rear axle steering system at the rear. The vehicle passes an obstacle without the usual turning motions as the front and rear wheels steer in parallel.
- Return to the driver: The human-machine interface (HMI) on the Vision Zero Vehicle is designed to make the transition from automated to assisted driving mode as safe as possible. If the vehicle approaches complex situations such as road work sites on freeways, it informs the driver about them in several stages and with sufficient time to react. If the driver fails to take control of the wheel, the function brings the car to a stop in a safe place.