ZF's Vision Zero: The Zero must be

Pachfurth (Austria), 22. June 2017

no more. No matter how hard I step on the gas pedal, the car remains stubborn. And this is not a glitch, but good. Currently I have controls with the new test of the ZF incorrectly on a simulated motorway exit. But before I get to Ghost rider, brakes, state-of-the converted VW Touran in the quiet.

Suppliers in the change

Mind driver, and a standstill – the fit, The ZF group of Friedrichshafen, known as a supplier for the transmission, suspension and other parts that want exactly avoid the also economically. So, not against the March in the direction of be on the road and especially not on the current Successes rest. Because ZF is feeling the fundamental change that the automotive industry is currently going through. There are two main Trends: electrification and Autonomous Driving. Ergo, ZF must deliver in the truest words. Finally, it comes to about 135,000 jobs, of which approximately 63,000 in the area of "Active and passive safety technology."

On the road to zero road deaths

Where the journey goes up to the year 2025, the already mentioned VW-Touran-tag called "Vision Zero Vehicle". The Name is our program and stands for the merger of the two Mega-Trends: zero emissions, and zero accidents, respectively, that the number of fatalities. To illustrate the last point, sad facts to help: In the year 2016, a total of 3.214 people in Germany died in traffic accidents worldwide per year, approximately 1.25 million people. A long way so, for the ZF engineers to analyze, firstly, the causes of those deaths. Interestingly, a Good half of the Cars caused traffic deaths to go to the account of the driver, while the Truck traffic in the same direction is the main cause.

Nothing is impossible

The conclusion is: The vehicle of the future must, on the one hand on the distracted driver, but also the environment. How to do this is demonstrated in the "Vision Zero Vehicle". The goal of ZF: Autonomous Driving in Level 4 for 2020, i.e. full automation, with the possibility of intervention of the driver. Easier said than done: millions of scenarios need to be factored in, because the vehicle is Driving in Autonomous, in contrast to previous assistance systems are always online and "in readiness". Taken into account must be, for example, in the world different and out of lanes and markings, left - and right-hand traffic, sudden parts on the road or all kinds of weather.

From the Computer in the handle

Look-ahead Radar and camera systems to prevent in the future the wrong entrance onto the highway, and at the same time allow Autonomous movement. This works already very impressive, the VW Touran steers around obstacles and brings me back to the curve, if I ausschere too far. Automatic Overtaking on the motorway and one more on the exit? No Problem. I should not take, despite a request in the system the steering Wheel in the Hand, the car finally pull over and stop independently. The fact remains: Every driver has his day form, of the Computer.

Freedom ride just by yourself?

I have to admit, it takes a bit of getting used to, to be left to the vehicle Power. But you learn to appreciate quickly. At the technology (with a view camera and Radar, ZF, as a cooperation partner Hella on Board), it will not fail. Rather, the psychological component: While American motorists since time immemorial, comfort extras like, was instilled in the German Arm for decades: a car means freedom, and free travel for free citizens. Do you remember how long automatic transmissions have been discredited as a solution for retirees and Housewives? Certainly, a healthy scepticism towards the self-driving car may be fitted. But what does that bring even MORE freedom for the elderly? Thus, pensioners from villages could use without a supermarket Autonomous Shuttles for shopping or to the doctor in the city.

The car observed the occupants

And let's be honest: How often have you been annoyed about other drivers on the cell phone to fiddle around with or things in the car looking at it from the road agreement? Here, ZF relies on an interior camera system. If so, my co-driver shows something on his Smartphone, the technology that I my view of the road to turn away from, and directs me back on track. An important aspect of: Should we allow Autonomous Driving it to a distant day, while driving other things, it needs a passenger compartment monitoring. Notes in case of emergency, where the driver is. On the topic of "interior of the future" works, ZF, Faurecia.

Between the worlds

In addition, the ZF-Touran has a rear-wheel drive, more specifically: An electric axle drive system. The 150-Kilowatt electric drive module with spur gear transmission, differential, and power electronics is centrally located in the so-called mSTARS-subframe its place. Finally, it is clear that If electric cars prevail on a broad Front, requires no-one more classic, ZF-gearbox. But suspension systems such as active rear axle steering in the test vehicle, or electronic components. ZF chief Stefan Sommer speaks of the fusion of two worlds: Here is the classic Hardware, the new Software. Alone in the year 2016, the group has spent around two billion euros for research and development, to build the bridge from "old" to "new". Although the summer, acknowledges that there is a large step for the self-driving car. And the ZF-chief admits that his company was surprised by the dynamic that has taken up the issue in the meantime. But now the ZF rolls-Zukunftszug. (rh)