2/2/2017 | 1 MINUTE READ

Mechanical Devices and Advanced Intelligence from AF

Facebook Share Icon LinkedIn Share Icon Twitter Share Icon Share by EMail icon Print Icon



Facebook Share Icon LinkedIn Share Icon Twitter Share Icon Share by EMail icon Print Icon

Related Suppliers

Dr. Stefan Sommer, CEO of ZF Friedrichshafen AG (zf.com) emphasizes that the automotive supplier produces a variety of mechatronic components and systems, and that these systems, going forward, need to become even more intelligent than they may currently be, as its OEM customers move toward more automated and autonomous driving. Sommer says, “The mobility of the future will continue to be based on mechanical systems, but equipped with intelligent systems that are comprehensively networked.”

For example, the company has developed what it calls an “Intelligent Rolling Chassis” (IRC), which combines an axle-integrated electric drive—there are two 40-kW electric motors, each with a single-speed transmission, located near the wheels—and a front axle based on a dual-arm independent suspension design that works with an electromechanical steering system so that there is a steering angle up to 75 degrees. In addition to which there is an electronic control unit (ECU) for the IRC that not only controls the motors and other elements, but also other ZF systems, including braking.

But Sommer and his colleagues realize that there needs to be even more capability, so it has teamed up with NVIDIA (nvidia.com) to develop an artificial-intelligence based system, the first instance of which is called ZF ProAI. It is based on the NVIDIA DRIVE PX 2 platform. This system makes use of multiple sensors and cameras for input, then uses “deep learning” to understand the environment, thereby providing automated driving functionality: the system is capable of comprehending a 360 degree view around a vehicle.

Rather than having multiple processors, each of which is tasked for a limited number of functions, ZF ProAI has the computing power to take on an array of tasks in real time.

ZF is configuring the unit so that over-the-air updating can occur. It will also be able to communicate with other vehicles and intelligent infrastructure (V2X).

The system is being built to meet automotive-grade standards. It will go into series production in 2018.  

ZF Group


  • Designing the 2019 Ram 1500

    Ram Truck chief exterior designer Joe Dehner talks about how they’ve developed the all-new pickup. “We’ve been building trucks for over 100 years,” he says. “Best I could come up with is that this is our 15th-generation truck.”  

  • The Lexus GX 470: You Want Me To Drive This Where?

    According to Kunihiro Hoshi, chief engineer for the GX 470: “Three of my top goals were to create a body-on-frame vehicle with sweeping off-road performance and unibody-like on-road capability, and, of course, it had to meet the Lexus quality standard.” He met his goals. But why would anyone want to bang this vehicle around on rocks?

  • New Chevrolet TrailBlazer: An Authentic SUV

    Nowadays in the U.S. market, vehicle manufacturers pretty much are all committed to producing crossover utility vehicles rather than their predecessor type, the sport utility vehicle.