ZF, the world’s leading supplier of automotive cameras, has developed the Dual-cam two lens camera specifically designed for the commercial truck market and to be used in concert with other ZF ADAS technologies.
Part of ZF’s S-Cam4 family of automotive grade cameras, the Dual-cam is designed to help meet varying global regulatory requirements and delivers advanced functions such as Traffic Sign Recognition, Lane Keeping Assist and Centering and object and pedestrian detection to enable Automatic Emergency Braking.
“To help ensure these technologies work effectively on commercial trucks a second lens is necessary for some of these advanced functions,” said Dan Williams, head of ADAS and autonomy for ZF Commercial truck applications. “For example, for pedestrian AEB in some instances a standard mono-camera with a 52-degree field can limit the ability to detect pedestrians or other vulnerable road users with enough time to actuate the brakes and help avoid or mitigate accidents for larger trucks in complex environments.”
Having a second lens also enables redundancy for Level2+ functions – if one lens becomes blinded or non-functional the second lens helps ensure the camera can still operate due to multiple optical paths.
ZF’s camera technologies feature best-in-class optical performance and an enhanced fusion envelope. When combined with a full suite of the company’s ADAS technologies such as forward looking and corner radar, automated functions such as lane change assist, and traffic jam assist are enabled. These functions can form the basis for technologies such as truck platooning to make long haul trucking safer and more efficient.
ZF has a long history of commercial truck ADAS supply for major European truck makers and will launch an advanced ADAS system for a major Japanese manufacturer in 2020. The launch will include ZF’s first application for its Image Processing Module where camera images will be processed in a separate unit from the camera housing.
With its SEE-THINK-ACT approach ZF is shaping advanced safety and autonomous driving in the commercial truck market with environmental sensor technologies that can “see” the surroundings, powerful processing units employing Artificial Intelligence such as ZF’s ProAI family of super computers that can “think” for the system and intelligent mechanical systems that can “act” to provide enhanced levels of vehicle control.
At the end of 2016, ZF entered into two joint ventures with Foton, a Chinese commercial vehicle manufacturer, to produce and sell commercial vehicle transmissions. The partners have now opened a production plant in Jiaxing, to the south of Shanghai. The companies will focus primarily on the production of automated transmissions for heavy and light commercial vehicles.
The joint venture, known as ZF Foton HCV Automated Transmissions (Jiaxing) Co., Ltd., in which ZF holds a 51% share, is focused on heavy commercial vehicles. The main objectives of this enterprise are the production and marketing in China of ZF’s automatic commercial vehicle transmission system, TraXon. The system will be integrated into commercial vehicles produced by manufacturer and joint venture partner, Foton.
“In China, the demand for automated transmission systems for light and heavy commercial vehicles is growing strongly,” explains Wolf-Henning Scheider, Chief Executive Officer of ZF Friedrichshafen AG.
“Together with our partner Foton, we will produce our latest transmission technology in China and thus offer our local customers more efficiency, comfort and safety.” Compared to manual transmissions, the TraXon transmission, for example, reduces fleet average fuel consumption by up to 5 percent.
Heyi Xu, CEO of Foton’s parent company BAIC Group, added: “This joint venture sees the joined hands of two industry leaders. It speaks for the product innovation and business capabilities of BAIC, and ZF global leadership in transmission products and manufacturing.
Both parties will leverage on their respective technology and strengths, form a modular and standard production platform, in order to produce cutting-edge, efficient and intelligent transmission products for the world. We will provide Chinese customers of commercial vehicles the desired world-class products, leading the development of the sector.”
ZF Foton HCV Automated Transmissions (Jiaxing) Co., Ltd. began production today. Production capacities in Jiaxing will be expanded successively and this is where ZF will produce the TraXon 12-speed transmission for the Chinese market. With an efficiency factor of 99.7 percent, TraXon is the most efficient commercial vehicle transmission on the market today and can be combined with additional functions, ensuring its viability for future market developments.
These functions include, for example, ZF’s predictive gearshift strategy PreVision GPS. With improved use of the rolling function this can further increase efficiency. The off-road and rock-free functions can improve the transmission performance during winter months, or in special vehicle applications.
Moreover, ZF Foton HCV will offer the TraXon transmission system together with the Intarder transmission brake. This effectively brakes heavy trucks without strain or wear on the service brakes. The Intarder can increase safety and extend the service interval, thus offering additional cost advantages in practice. Production of the Intarder will also begin in Jiaxing, imminently.
A second joint venture, Foton ZF LCV Automated Transmissions (Jiaxing) Co., Ltd.,in which ZF holds a 40-percent share, produces transmissions for light commercial vehicles in Jiaxing for the Chinese market.