ZF leverages complete truck-trailer technologies

In News4 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineOctober 14, 2022

ZF’s Commercial Vehicle Solutions division has unveiled two advanced innovation vehicles combining truck and trailer technologies with its systems capabilities.

The prototypes demonstrate ZF’s acceleration of autonomous, electric and digital technologies, offering clear proof-points for ZF’s ‘Next generation Mobility’ strategy.

“Environmentally intelligent and designed to lower the Total Cost of Ownership, ZF’s latest innovation vehicles set a new standard of performance, efficiency and safety that are only possible when leveraging the capabilities of complete truck-trailer combinations,” said Christian Brenneke, senior vice president of product engineering with ZF’s Commercial Vehicle Solutions division.

“Each prototype powerfully combines ZF’s advanced truck and trailer expertise with our unrivalled systems capabilities. This has enabled us to achieve enhanced levels of safety and efficiency that simply would not be possible without an integrated approach to the complete vehicle.

“The ease of use of these technologies also supports less experienced drivers at a time when the industry is facing acute shortages.”

ZF has equipped its safety innovation truck and semi-trailer with a suite of its combined technologies, drawing on its extensive passenger car capabilities to ensure the technology is economically attractive for commercial vehicles.

This includes ZF’s comprehensive Highway Assist solution, which is enabled by OnGuardMAX, ZF’s advanced Autonomous Emergency Braking System for commercial vehicles. Highway Assist combines Adaptive Cruise Control with Continuous Lane Keeping Assist functionality to offer longitudinal and lateral control as a Level 2 automated application.

The safety innovation vehicle can autonomously initiate an emergency brake to avoid collisions with moving and stationary objects from speeds of up to 80kph and can bring the vehicle to a complete stop. Working in conjunction with the braking system, ZF’s new Active Seatbelt helps safeguard drivers by ensuring their seatbelts are free of tangles and remain at the correct tension, particularly during emergency manoeuvres.

ZF has also demonstrated its active Moving Off Assistant. Helping avoid collisions with pedestrians or cyclists near the front of the vehicle during drive-off, it is complemented by two versions of ZF’s Advanced Reversing Assist) to help reduce accidents during reversing manoeuvres. One ARA is fitted in the tractor and another in the trailer, which features TT-Link technology enabling the trailer, for the first time, to be an integral part of sensing/monitoring a vehicle’s surroundings. The trailer reversing camera is expected to become an essential part of future GSR (PoC-status) requirements. Also featured is ZF’s Blind Spot Information System, which helps avoid collisions with cyclists riding near the passenger side of the vehicle.

With its second innovation vehicle, ZF has combined a truck with its eTrailer and a suite of its latest intelligent, electrified and efficiency technologies, including trailer aerodynamics such as ZF’s OptiFlow TrailerSkirt and OptiFlow Tail.

The vehicle shows how ZF’s combined truck and eTrailer technologies can address major commercial vehicle industry challenges. Based on the demonstration vehicle, including eTrailer’s recuperation and traction capabilities, significant fuel savings of up to 18% and annual CO2 emission reductions of up to 15 tonnes per vehicle are possible.

eTrailer’s advanced traction functionalities, such as Drive-Off Help and Highway Acceleration Support, help boost safety, comfort and support drivers of all experience levels. Demonstrating eTrailer’s traction support for ramp approaches and docking, the safe, silent and precise reversing of the truck-trailer combination is highlighted in combination with the trailer’s reversing camera.