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The automotive industry is preparing to present its latest and greatest automotive technology at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show beginning with media days on September 12th. This year’s event has a greater-than-ever focus on the autonomous vehicle and related technologies we cover in this magazine including automated, connected, electrified, & shared mobility. What follows are select highlights as we went to press.
- ZF Vision Zero Vehicle
- Schaeffler electrified drivetrains
- Continental Next-Generation Environment Model
- Adient AI18 interior demonstrator
- BorgWarner shows electrification propulsion systems
- Bosch automated driving solutions include parking
- Yanfeng Automotive Interiors to Unveil 'Next Living Space'
With its Vision Zero Vehicle, ZF will present electronics technology to help address distracted and potential wrong-way driver crashes. The company says the vehicle is a milestone on the way to the vision of zero accidents and zero local emissions.
The concept vehicle features intelligent systems intended to help prevent some of the more common types of car crashes. Driver Distraction Assist has the capability to recognize driver distraction—the number-two cause of accidents after excessive speed, according to the company. It “can help recognize lack of attention, warn the driver and, if necessary, take control until a potential danger has passed,” explained Dr. Harald Naunheimer, head of Research and Development at ZF. Wrong-way Inhibit can help actively prevent wrong-way driving and its frequently fatal consequences. Such safety innovations are trailblazers in the transition from assisted to autonomous driving, claims the company.
“With our all-electric Vision Zero Vehicle and its innovative safety systems, we’ve achieved key advances that point to the future. Especially for the transition from assisted to autonomous driving, we strive for advanced and integrated safety systems to help keep drivers and passengers safe,” said ZF CEO, Dr. Stefan Sommer. These systems are intended to highlight central ZF competencies of intelligent and networked mechanical systems that enable vehicles to see, think, and act.
Driver Distraction Assist uses a laser-based time-of-flight interior camera with learning capability. The camera monitors the position of the driver’s head in 3D and, unlike other digital video systems, it can be effective even in poor lighting, claims ZF. The system is designed to immediately register when the driver looks away from the road. In case of danger, it alerts the driver with an optical warning on the central display, an acoustic signal, and active tightening of the seat belt. Simultaneously, it can take over steering and keep the car on road in curves. If the driver fails to react, the system can steadily reduce drive torque and, finally, can cut the throttle response and attempt to stop the car in a safe spot.
Wrong-way Inhibit is designed to safeguard against driving the wrong way, which the U.S. NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) reports involves 360 victims annually on U.S. highways. The system reacts as soon as there is an indication that the driver is about to enter a road in the wrong direction. The Vision Zero Vehicle uses multiple approaches to help detect if the road and direction is right or wrong via high-accuracy maps constantly updated via the cloud, as well as traffic signs and road markings that are recognized using a front camera system. If the driver heads for a freeway exit instead of an entry road, the system can first warn with an acoustic signal, seatbelt vibration, and an optical signal on the dashboard display. A significantly higher steering wheel resistance reinforces the message to the driver that he is about to make a wrong turn. If the driver still attempts to go in the wrong direction, the system can keep the car on the outside edge of the lane, brake initially to walking speed, and then to a stop. Furthermore, the high beam headlights and the hazard warning lights can activate to warn oncoming traffic. The system only allows driving out of the danger zone along the edge of the road if there is space or if the driver shifts into reverse.
Also part of the Vision Zero Vehicle is ZF’s aim for a zero local-emissions future. The vehicle features a 150-kW electric axle drive system, the compact unit housing not only the electric motor but also a two-stage one-speed spur gear drive, a differential, and power electronics. It is housed in a space-saving modular ZF rear axle system called mSTARS (modular Semi-Trailing Arm Rear Suspension) that makes it easier to electrify volume production vehicle platforms – even existing ones. The solution is suitable for hybrid, fuel-cell, and battery-powered vehicles as well as for combination with conventional all-wheel modules or the Active Kinematics Control active rear axle steering.
Schaeffler will present its technology portfolio and selected products for electrified drivetrains suitable for volume production. The portfolio comprises components, modules, and systems from electrically actuated clutches, components and drives for mild hybridization, and high-voltage hybrid solutions to complete electric drives for hybrid and all-electric vehicles. “We have been involved in the development of new drive concepts in this sector for over a decade, and are currently working on more than 20 customer projects,” said Matthias Zink, CEO Automotive at Schaeffler. Schaeffler is targeting not only Europe but also North America and China.
The company says its high-voltage hybrid module in a P2 arrangement for drivetrain electrification can be matched to a large number of drive concepts on a modular basis. As the central element in plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, the P2 hybrid module contributes to a typical reduction in fuel consumption of 70%, with an all-electric range of 50 km (31 mi). A maximum speed of 135 km/h (84 mph) can be reached in purely electric driving mode, with a target vehicle accelerating from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in less than 8 s. The P2 hybrid module will debut into volume production at the end of 2017 in China.
For the U.S. market, the supplier is targeting the popular segments of sport utility vehicles, crossovers, and pickups with its hybrid solutions. Its executives believe the combination of internal combustion engines and electric motors provides the right mix of increased efficiency, allows vehicle manufacturers to achieve future fuel economy targets, and provides greater torque at low speeds—an important criterion for U.S. customers.
In addition to this, Schaeffler is working on electric axles that could one day compliment or replace conventional powertrains, serve as a hybrid solution and provide an all-wheel drive alternative.
One of the most significant technologies from Continental to be shown will be its Next-Generation Environment Model, which is says is a core component of automated driving. It includes a high-resolution 3D Flash lidar surrounding sensor that enables real-time 3D machine vision without mechanically moving components, and a central assisted & automated driving control unit (ADCU) platform for complex vehicle surroundings models.
The model is intended to deliver a seamless, true-to-life, 360-degree view of the entire vehicle’s surroundings. A reliable environment model requires a range of information, for example of other traffic participants, of static objects such as road boundaries, of the vehicle’s own precise location, and of traffic control measures.
“For the system to acquire this information step-by-step, a range of sensors such as radars, cameras, and Surround View systems are needed,” said Karl Haupt, Head of Continental’s Advanced Driver Assistance Systems business unit. “The aim is to achieve an understanding of the vehicle’s surroundings which is as good as or better than a person’s own understanding. More range, more sensors, and the combination of acquired data with powerful computer systems will help to sharpen the view and is the key to achieving a consistent view of our surroundings.”
The high-resolution 3D Flash lidar is a core component of the environment model.
“The technology, which is already been deployed for space operations, provides a significantly more comprehensive and detailed 3D view of the entire vehicle surroundings—both during the day and at night—and works reliably even in adverse weather conditions,” said Arnaud Lagandré, Head of Continental’s High Resolution 3D Flash LIDAR segment.
The new lidar for support of highly and fully automated driving is scheduled for production in 2020. It is comprised of just two key components. A flash laser as a transmission source that illuminates the vehicle surroundings up to distances beyond 200 m (660 ft). A highly integrated receptor chip is capable of recording the laser pulse transit time and record the reflected light on each pixel, which corresponds to the range from the objects. A complete 3D model of the vehicle surroundings nearby or over 200 m away and as close as a few centimeters, is constructed in just 1.32 microsecond, 30 times per second, said Lagandré. “The low complexity and high industrial feasibility mean that we can efficiently install multiple sensors all around the vehicle, thereby enabling us to generate complete, real-time, 360 degrees images of the vehicle surroundings.”
The central ADCU, used for evaluating and interpreting the acquired data and ultimately constructing a comprehensive surroundings model, is comprised of a network of multiple processing units. The control unit also interconnects electronic chassis and safety systems that used to operate in isolation. It is the central element for implementing the required functional safety architecture and is a host for the central environment descriptions and driving functions needed for automated driving, said Michael Zydek, Head of the Assisted & Automated Driving Control Unit product group in the Advanced Driver Assistance Systems business unit.
The goal is to offer a scalable product family for assisted and automated driving that meets the most stringent of safety requirements—ASIL (Automotive Safety Integrity Level D—by 2019. The control unit will be equipped with various connections for Ethernet and low-voltage differential signaling to manage the required flow of data.
Adient will present its new interior demonstrator concept for autonomous driving based on what it calls Scenario 2030 in which urban compact vehicles are automatic, electric, and adapt to their users. The leading supplier of automotive seating will showcase what new forms of mobility are dramatically changing how people get around and what that means for interiors, and especially the vehicle seating system. With the focus on autonomous driving and alternative usage models such as car sharing and urban mobility, the latest Adient demonstrator, called AI18, addresses three of the major trends—autonomous driving, car sharing, and electromobility—that will drive the automotive industry of the future.
"The optimal vehicle architecture for future urban living spaces provides compact equipment solutions which can adapt to a wide range of users with differing requirements and preferences in almost every situation,” explained Richard Chung, Vice President Innovation at Adient. “This requirement will play a decisive role, especially for vehicle interiors and their seating systems.”
Adient will use five scenarios to demonstrate in the AI18 just how flexible Level 3 and Level 4 autonomous vehicles could be in the future. In addition to Lounge mode, the system offers Communication, Cargo, Baby Plus, and Family modes to provide users with optimum seating arrangements and space for each mode as well as various usage options and technical aids that make travel as efficient, comfortable, and safe as possible. For example, Lounge mode offers a high degree of comfort and relaxation by means of the seating position and application features. The front seats play their part with an anthropometric pivot at their core, ensuring the seat can be reclined far back and still provide support when beyond the traditional range. Components such as the head restraint, integrated armrests, and separate leg rest are synchronized to move with the body, with an optional massage function boosting comfort.
Many of the some 20 innovations—including new component geometries, alternative materials, and composites—in the demonstrator provide additional options for lightweight construction. According to Chung, the slimmer, lighter seating systems not only play their part in reducing fuel consumption and increasing the range of electric vehicles, they “also allow automakers to make best use of the vehicle's compact dimensions and therefore also increase efficiency in automotive construction at many levels."
In 2017 BorgWarner celebrates its debut at the IAA Cars by focusing on current trends such as connected cars, autonomous driving, e-mobility, as well as urban mobility concepts. It will focus on showing advanced technologies that make combustion engines cleaner and more efficient and sophisticated electrical propulsion solutions to drive hybrid and pure electric vehicles.
"As we look to the future of transportation, we will see a wide variety of systems, including highly efficient combustion engines, different hybrid architectures, and pure electric propulsion systems," said James R. Verrier, President and Chief Executive Officer, BorgWarner. "To meet the demands of this diverse market, our broad portfolio of technologies for combustion, hybrid and electric vehicles helps enable autonomous and connected driving, and supports automakers around the world in mastering the challenges of tomorrow's mobility."
The company expects that combustion engines will play an important role for some time to come. But to meet increasingly stringent emissions standards, it sees demand for hybridization growing stronger, with diverse hybrid propulsion architectures, from P1-type hybrids (where the electric motor is directly attached to the engine) to P4-type hybrids (where the combustion engine and e-motor drive different axles) gaining importance.
So BorgWarner will show its comprehensive electrified propulsion portfolio for mild, full, and plug-in HEVs that provide highly efficient performance for extended battery-powered range. It is focusing on a growing product range to cover virtually all electric propulsion areas including electric motors, power transmission, power electronics, and thermal management.
Bosch is showing technological solutions for what it describes as a “new era in mobility that is free of accidents, stress, and emissions.” One primary focus is on increasing driving automation, which it says can lower accident rates even further—by up to one-third in Germany alone.
The company says that making automated driving a reality calls for profound understanding of all vehicle systems, and that it manufactures most of the key components itself—including radar, video, and ultrasonic sensors; braking control systems; electrical power-steering units; displays/instruments; and connectivity solutions inside and outside the vehicle.
From the start of the next decade, it says that there is a possibility that highly automated freeway driving (SAE Level 3) will be permitted for cars featuring Bosch technology.
Bosch is also working with Daimler to make fully automated driving (SAE Level 4) and driverless mobility (SAE Level 5) possible in towns and cities. Their objectives include the development and start of production of an autonomous driving system for robocabs starting in the early 2020s.
At the show, one small step toward greater vehicle automation will be the company’s automated (driverless) valet parking. At the Mercedes-Benz Museum parking garage in Stuttgart, Bosch has joined with Daimler to use smartphone functionality to allow drivers to automatically park their cars in their assigned spots without having to keep an eye on the maneuver. This driverless parking is made possible by in-vehicle technology and intelligent parking-garage infrastructure supplied by Bosch.
Yanfeng Automotive Interiors (YFAI) will unveil its latest eXperience in Motion (XiM18) vehicle interior concept that forecasts how people will relax, work, and play in their future vehicles. The demonstrator is said to feature more than 30 innovative product and process solutions for the next generation of electric and autonomous driving cars.
The company is presenting the interior living space, where look, feel, and function are seamlessly altered according to vehicle driving mode. It is in response to global megatrends of increasing connectivity and new forms of car ownership and mobility such as the move to electrifications, autonomous driving, or car sharing—all of which are rapidly changing perceptions of transportation and mobility. Adding to those trends is the entry of new, non-traditional automakers that are radically changing the face of mobility and enabling completely new ways of in-vehicle engagement.
"With our XiM18, we answer the question of what will people do in their vehicle, if they no longer have to drive?" said Han Hendriks, Chief Technology Officer for YFAI. "In the future, if the driver no longer has to drive, the car will become the next living space. The XiM18 exemplifies how we are redefining the way people can relax, work, and play in their car today and decades from now. Our new generation concept shows how we lead interior design and our solution to future requirements for electric vehicles and autonomous driving."
The concept demonstrates YFAI's interior integration capabilities and shows in various driving modes how interior functionality inside the vehicle will fundamentally change. It provides a new range of flexibility and more personal space to relax, work, or watch a movie.