ZF reshuffles ADAS functions, applies them to heavy trucks

June 29, 2016 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Rear-end collisions are among the most feared hazards on the highway, in particular if heavy trucks are involved. Automotive tier one ZF Friedrichshafen AG has developed two electronic assistance systems that will prevent most of these accidents.

The Evasive Maneuver Assist (EMA), developed in collaboration with truck systems specialist Wabco, comes into play in situations when the truck driver fails to recognize the tail of a motorway traffic jam on time or when the emergency braking simply does not suffice to stop the truck in front of an obstacle. Also if the road is slippery due to rain or snowfall, the EMA intervenes and directs the heavy vehicle including trailer to a free lane. Activated through a wee steering movement from the driver, the system choses either the emergency lane or another free lane. The EMA takes the control over lateral and longitudinal movements and optimizes steering and braking for maximum friction between tire and road – a principle that already has been implemented in the Electronic Stability Control (ESC) that today is standard in more or less all vehicles sold. EMA also optimizes steering movements and braking moments overriding the driver in the case his steering movements or brake pedal pressure are too weak. Case the overacts – a frequent phenomenon in the moment of shock – the system optimizes the evasive movement given the weight and weight distribution of the truck as well as tire pressure and road conditions at the moment. As a result, the vehicle won’t enter skidding in most situations, explained Wabco CTO Christian Wiehen.


EMA combines a number of existing technologies such as electrohydraulic power steering, emergency brake assist, and vehicle dynamics control systems in a dedicated Electronic Control Unit.


The second system announced by ZF is something the company calls Highway Driving Assist (HDA). HMA blends the signals of a dash cam with those of a radar sensor. It protects the driver (and the fellow drivers in other vehicles) from the consequences of negligence, distraction or momentary nodding off by warning the driver of unintentionally leaving the lane and keeping the truck or semitrailer on track autonomously and