ZF’s new CV intelligence: Autonomous truck-trailer coupling and truck-trailer hybridisation

Commercial vehicles are expected to have at least 15 per cent lower emissions by 2025 and the eTrailer tech will help fleet owners achieve this with ease.

By:October 6, 2020 5:26 PM

In a move that will help revolutionise the commercial vehicle space, ZF has demonstrated its capabilities. These include electrification of trailers along with autonomy dialled in. ZF recently acquired WABCO and thereby this has resulted in it accelerating these technologies. The technologies were demonstrated in an online press conference held today. New European regulations demand that the commercial vehicle emissions be lowered by 15 per cent till 2025. At the same time, the 2030 target is to reduce theses emissions by 30 per cent. Additionally, commercial vehicle manufacturers are expected to have driver assistance system approvals in place by 2022 whereas blind spot warning system should be there from 2024. Fredrik Staedtler, head of ZF’s Commercial Vehicle Control Systems Division confirmed that with the WABCO acquisition, ZF aims to be a one-stop supplier for commercial vehicle technologies.

As part of its technology advancement, ZF showed how a trailer automatically couples with its allocated truck. The engaging happens automatically as well. An enhanced reversing assistant too was shown. This in turn helps reduce accidents at truck depots. At the same time, drivers need not worry about maneuvering the vehicle. It helps in reducing chances of an accident and the subsequent repair downtime as well as costs.

As for the hybridisation, a eTrailer technology helps reduce operating costs. The trailer is fitted with an integrated electric motor that helps convert a fossil-fuel truck into a hybrid one. The trailer enables the truck to consume as much as 16 per cent lower fuel and at the same time also improve acceleration and reduce brake wear/NVH.

ZF is also claimed to be working towards commercial vehicle connectivity. Through cloud-based programs, ZF aims to optimise its CV connectivity thereby enabling seamless electric integration. As and when is this coming to India remains a question as the CV industry here is still in the nascent stage. We expect few of the major CV players here to collaborate with ZF and bring about this revolution to the Indian market.

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