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