With the vision of accident-free driving or “Vision Zero,” ZF said it is working on “enhancing” current driver assistance technologies for “practical” roadway use, such as highway driving assist (HDA), which helps to keep the vehicle in its lane, and an evasive maneuver assist (EMA), which allows a truck to independently evade obstacles and apply the brakes.
- EMA is particularly useful in detecting hazards occurring at the “tail end” of a traffic jam on the freeway where, if a truck driver fails to see stopped traffic in time, the outcome could be fatal, ZF said. In this situation the EMA system takes control – detecting whether advanced emergency braking (AEB) or driver-initiated braking is sufficient to stop the vehicle before hitting an obstacle. If braking alone is insufficient to avoid a rear-end collision, the EMA system engages – analyzing information from cameras and laser sensors, using the package’s “ReAX “active electric power steering, and the service brakes, to prevent a crash. ZF stressed, however, that the EMA system relies on a “cascade of warnings” to keep the driver involved, allowing them to override it at any time. ZF noted that it developed EMA in cooperation with WABCO.
- HDA is designed to keep a tractor-trailer in its lane and effectively helps protect drivers from the often very severe consequences resulting from lack of attention, distraction or a few seconds of “micro-sleep.” The system not only warns the driver that the semi-trailer truck is unintentionally moving out of its lane, it also actively and independently keeps the truck in the lane. At the same time, it automatically maintains a safe distance from the vehicles in front at any speed, also including stop-and-go functionality.
The company noted that its Innovation Truck 2016 also boasts the ability to maneuver itself via an autonomous system it calls “SafeRange,” allowing the vehicle to autonomously align itself with loading bays.
ZF stressed that the SafeRange maneuvering system also boosts efficiency at the truck terminal, while preventing collisions that can occur during maneuvering – collisions that can result in costly vehicle damage and downtime, while additionally increasing loading and unloading times.