IAA Transportation: ZF shows autonomous solutions for commercial vehicles

IAA Transportation: ZF shows autonomous solutions for commercial vehicles

Technology News |
By Christoph Hammerschmidt

ZF’s Commercial Vehicle Solutions (CVS) division will present its newly developed solutions for commercial vehicle automation at the upcoming IAA Transportation 2022. These include the latest generation of automated chassis control ADOPT (Autonomous Driving Open Platform Technology).

With the software, the Friedrichshafen, Germany, based tier 1 supplier enables automated hub-to-hub transport on the highway as well as a fully integrated automation solution for the depot. The platform translates driving instructions from a virtual driver into real vehicle movement commands by accessing the control of all relevant systems such as drive, steering and braking. The corresponding interfaces were developed according to automotive standards. With this portfolio, ZF wants to position itself as a ‘one-stop store’ for automated technologies in the commercial vehicle sector. 

ZF’s portfolio for commercial vehicle automation ranges from components and electronic control units for level 4 autonomous driving vehicles to sensors and high-performance computers as well as digital and connectivity technologies. By combining these competencies and products, the company aims to put itself in a position to offer its customers complete turnkey solutions. This includes software for virtual drivers and digital platforms for the orchestration and management of vehicle fleets of all sizes. In this way, specifically developed solutions can be flexibly integrated into a commercial vehicle manufacturer’s automated vehicle platform or combined with the products and services of other suppliers, the company advertises.

The latest generation of ZF-ADOPT offers an intelligent interface to support autonomous vehicle control systems. In a demonstration vehicle, ZF has implemented autonomous driving according to Level 4 for speeds up to 80 km/h. For this purpose, the ADOPT 3.0 chassis control software accesses the electronically controlled OptiRide air suspension system and the third-generation EBS electronic braking system. With this combination, the software keeps the vehicle stable in all situations, even on wet roads and surfaces with different road surfaces.

In a second test vehicle, ZF demonstrates a turnkey solution for an automated depot. Here, semi-trailers are moved and shunted by a driverless tractor unit. A control network consisting of ZF’s electromechanical ReAX steering system, the electronically controlled OptiRide air suspension system, as well as the third-generation EBS electronic braking system is in operation. In combination with the braking system and the parking brake, fully automatic maneuvers such as docking and coupling are possible. The automatic docking process is up to 50% faster than manual docking. This helps to increase productivity in the depot and is particularly useful when there are only a few experienced drivers available.

The new ADOPT 2.0 software controls the tractor unit, which travels at speeds of up to 20 km/h. The tractor unit can be operated at any speed. For this purpose, ADOPT uses the route planning and perception software of ZF partner Embotech. Also combined with the test vehicle is the ZF fleet management and orchestration platform SCALAR. It can also be used to automate the planning, routing, and dispatching of vehicles at a depot.

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