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Integrated Safety at ZF Integrated Safety at ZF

Integrated Safety: An Overview

Road traffic without severe injuries and fatalities is the goal of Vision Zero. Continuous improvement in vehicle safety can make a significant contribution to the protection of vehicle occupants and other road users such as pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists.

Definition: What is Integrated Safety?

Integrated Vehicle Safety: Active and Passive Safety

Integrated vehicle safety connects active and passive safety technology and has the potential to go far beyond what each can achieve separately. Improving integrated vehicle safety goes hand in hand with the development of autonomous and automated driving. Advancements in safety technology including increasingly powerful electronic control units, sensor technology for monitoring the vehicle environment and the vehicle interior form the basis for increasing levels of semi- and fully automated driving functions.

Integrated safety enhances comfort, convenience and driver support with easy-to-use assistance systems and functions like health monitoring of the vehicle occupants. These technologies can help assist in critical driving situations and in protecting occupants.

Occupant protection gets ahead of the collision

Airbags that deploy earlier in the event of an unavoidable collision? ZF and BMW are working on it. The new predictive safety system can enhance occupant protection.

At ZF, we will make best friends of drivers and electronic pilots

Are you driving, or am I? But rather than tossing the keys to your partner, this question is now also being asked between man and machine.

Active Safety Technology

Avoiding Accidents

The most significant contribution to future road safety may be autonomous and automated driving, since studies indicate human error has been responsible for almost 90 percent of accidents to date. Already today, assistance systems can support the driver in emergency braking or evasive maneuvers and help prevent accidents. This makes them part of active safety technology.

More powerful sensors have the ability to detect potential dangers on global roadways even earlier and make active safety in critical driving situations more effective by intervening in braking or steering.

The “Automated Front Collision Avoidance” assistance function is capable of sensing the vehicle environment to determine if commanding an automatic lane change is necessary to help avoid an accident if the driver fails to react in time.

Automatic Emergency Braking and Steering

A pedestrian suddenly steps into the lane from the side – emergency braking or evasive action? Now it's time to help decide the right maneuver. ZF develops emergency brake and avoidance assistants, which can support the driver in such situations.

Passive Safety Technology

Reducing Crash Impacts

If a crash is unavoidable, passive safety technology can help to reduce the consequences of the accident for the occupants and other road users. Working as a coordinated system in modern cars are seat belts and airbags. The seat belts help to keep the occupant in the correct seating position and the airbag forms a life-saving buffer between the driver and the steering wheel, for example.

ZF Brings the Steering Wheel to the Next Level

From design and functions for safety and interaction to electronics and software: as an important control tool, ZF makes the steering wheel fit for the future.

ZF is an expert and a leading developer and manufacturer of seat belt and airbag technologies:

Central Airbag for Small and Compact Vehicles

Centrally positioned airbags are designed to enhance occupant side-impact protection in a far-side crash. Now, even in compact city cars, ZF’s new transverse (center) airbag can help minimize injury for vehicle occupants.

New Bag-in-Roof makes Headlines

ZF is regarded as a pioneer of the Bag-in-Roof airbag, which can be applied to all seating positions. This innovative restraint system is mounted above the windshield for front-seat passengers.

An Airbag that is Quick to Offer Protection

Studies indicate, that head-on collisions can be among the most dangerous road scenarios. This even holds true for collisions on the opposite side to the occupant, as the impact can throw the occupant's body toward the middle of the vehicle. A new airbag from ZF could help prevent injury here.

Meeting the Challenge of Knee Airbags

The trend of weight reduction because of fuel consumption, and at the same time looking for smaller module packages to integrate into the new interior designs, lead to the idea of developing a fabric housing knee airbag.

Intelligent seat belts

New technologies improve the position of seat belts and can help improve occupant protection in a potential crash.

Just before an unavoidable accident - in the so-called pre-crash phase - seat belts can be tightened, for example, or an external airbag can be positioned as an additional crumple zone. This makes passive safety even more effective.

One example is the ZF Pre-crash safety system utilizing an external side airbag.

On the Safe Side

In side impact collisions, there may only be a small crumple zone between a passenger and a potential incoming object. ZF has devised a pre-crash-system with airbags that can deploy on the outside of vehicles to help enhance occupant protection.

Integrated Safety @ZF

Current information can be found in LinkedIn on our showcase page

Legislation and Consumer Protection Ratings

Vehicle Safety Drivers

In addition to technology trends such as autonomous and automated driving and electric mobility, legislation, consumer protection ratings and new findings from accident research influence the further development of vehicle safety.


  • EU General Safety Regulation (GSR):
    Starting from mid-2022, new advanced safety technologies will be made successively mandatory for all new vehicles sold in the EU market, including lane departure warning, driver drowsiness recognition and advanced emergency braking systems. The revision of the GSR was adopted in December 2019 and integrated to the European type approval framework. The purpose of the regulation is to reduce the number of road casualties, including a focus on vulnerable road users (cyclist, pedestrians).
  • NHTSA Road Safety (U.S.):
    The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is responsible in-part for evaluating safety on America’s roadways. Through enforcing vehicle performance standards and partnerships with state and local governments, NHTSA aims to help reduce deaths, injuries and economic losses from motor vehicle crashes.

New Car Assessment Program (NCAP)

  • Global NCAP:
    The Global New Car Assessment Programme (Global NCAP) is a major project of the Towards Zero Foundation working to improve vehicle safety in all regions of the world.
  • Euro NCAP:
    Euro NCAP has created the five-star safety rating system to help consumers compare vehicles more easily and to help them identify the safety features to meet their needs.
  • US NCAP:
    The United States New Car Assessment Program (U.S. NCAP) is a consumer information and new car test protocol program of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Accident Research

As one of the leading manufacturers in the field of safety technology, ZF is intensively involved in accident research and crash testing component performance.

Learning from Crashes

We can learn from vehicle accidents. Those who understand how they arise will be able to assist in reducing them in future. That motivates ZF accident researchers.

The Crash-Clan "Protects" Us

How dare we call them "dummies"! They are actually a family of intelligent specialists who make an enormous contribution to occupant safety. It's time to get to know them better.

Products for Integrated Safety

Our ProductFinder provides a comprehensive overview

Connected Solutions

System Partner for Integrated Vehicle Safety

Even after an accident - in the so-called post-crash phase - integrated safety technology can help, for example by assistance systems supporting the rescue of occupants and other road users.

As a system partner for integrated vehicle safety, ZF offers networked solutions.

Autonomous Driving

From technology and testing through to the future: We provide you with an overview of autonomous and automated driving of cars and other vehicles.

Electric Mobility

For local emissions-free transport vehicles, all-electric drives are the only option. ZF supplies these drives for passenger cars, trucks and buses as highly efficient system solutions, among them electric motors and power electronics.

Vehicle Motion Control

The chassis plays a major role in ensuring safety, comfort and efficiency of a vehicle.

Digitalization and Software

Digitalization is all about integrating and interconnecting artificial intelligence into more products and endowing it with the capacity to learn. ZF is one of the trailblazers that is revolutionizing mobility.