Future concepts for automated commercial vehicles

Sep 7 • Future of FIeld Service, News • 570 Views • No Comments on Future concepts for automated commercial vehicles

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Commercial fully autonomous vehicles appear to be getting ever closer to a genuine reality as Knorr-Bremse offer a glimpse into their upcoming announcements at the  IAA Commercial Vehicles show being held in Hanover later this month.

Knorr- Bremse, a global market leader for braking systems and a leading supplier of other rail and commercial vehicle systems, will be demonstrating a truck that can master sections of the route on motorways/freeways in fully autonomous mode, including overtaking manoeuvres. In addition, Knorr-Bremse will be showing extremely efficient ways of making such highly automated systems fail-safe.

In the outdoor New Mobility World arena at the fair, Knorr-Bremse will be demonstrating a prototype truck that can drive along motorways/freeways in fully autonomous mode. Traffic conditions permitting, it can also automatically overtake a slower preceding vehicle. In line with the motto “We pave the road to automated driving”, at booth 30 in hall 17, the company will be showcasing product and system solutions that lay the foundations for such highly automated vehicle systems, as well as illustrating how the complex automated functions can be rendered fail-safe in a cost-effective way.

Knorr-Bremse will be demonstrating a prototype truck that can drive along motorways/freeways in fully autonomous mode.

According to Dr. Peter Laier, Executive Board Member of Knorr-Bremse AG responsible for the Commercial Vehicle Systems division: “In the next few years we’re going to see a gradual shift from more and more versatile driver assistance systems to automated driving and thus to vehicles that can temporarily take over the driving completely, freeing up the driver to handle other tasks or get some rest.

The key to engineering such systems is a deep-seated understanding of commercial vehicle dynamics, which are far more complex than in the case of cars. The millions of ABS, EBS, ESP, emergency braking and lane departure warning systems that we have in the field bear lasting witness to our expertise in this area and form the basis for us to leverage the potential that exists in driver assistance systems and automated driving.”

Dr Jürgen Steinberger is a Member of the Management Board of Knorr-Bremse Commercial Vehicle Systems where he is responsible for the field of automated driving: “At the IAA we will be demonstrating our sovereign command of all three dimensions of highly automated driving functions – environment recognition, decision-making and actuation. Another decisive aspect is a smart redundancy concept: When the vehicle takes control, everything must be designed in a way that the vehicle cannot run out of control even if an electronic subsystem fails. Simply doubling up the critical components, as was originally demanded, makes no economic sense. At the IAA we will be demonstrating how a modern braking system can even temporarily replace the steering. Our redundancy concept for automated driving illustrates how to combine outstanding performance with cost-effectiveness.”

Redundancy: The real challenge behind automation

For more than a decade, the automotive industry has been developing automated driving functions in a bid to improve both safety and driving comfort. Beginning with driver assistance, these different levels of automation are progressively transferring responsibility from the driver to the vehicle. There is now a broad consensus in the automotive industry on the use of a six-level model to describe the graduated transition to full automation. This model is based on a paper published by the Society of Automotive Engineers International (SAEI) in late 2016. This document defines the role of the human driver at each of the six levels of automation and aims to provide both lawmakers and the automotive industry with a clear and unambiguous framework for defining regulatory provisions and technical specifications.

The technology underpinning the six-level model of driving automation spans three different dimensions – vehicle stability, manoeuvre planning and navigation/connectivity.

The technology underpinning the six-level model of driving automation spans three different dimensions – vehicle stability, manoeuvre planning and navigation/connectivity. The first of these dimensions comprises actions aimed at improving braking distance and preventing skidding or sliding. These actions are performed by means of ABS (Anti-lock Braking System) and ESP (Electronic Stability Program) functions which also form the basis for the next dimension – “manoeuvre planning”. Here environment sensors such as radar, video and laser-based systems are used in combination with active steering intervention to support automated vehicle control. The third dimension – navigation/connectivity – delivers the necessary extended environmental information and supports vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure interaction over a wide geographic range.

As driving becomes automated, the question arises for manufacturers how they can ensure fail-safe operation in a cost-effective and reliable way. At the fair, Knorr-Bremse will show that, with the necessary vehicle-related know-how, failure of the active steering system can be compensated for without installing a redundant set of the relevant components.

Highly automated driving functions generally predicate the ability to constantly monitor the operational readiness of the various subsystems in the vehicle. Only when the entire system – including its redundancy structure – works as intended can the driver take care of other duties while the vehicle is in motion.

You can find out more in person by visiting  Knorr-Bremse at the IAA Commercial Vehicles show in Hanover from September 20-27, on booth A30 in hall 17 and in outdoor area D107. At the Automechanika fair in Frankfurt am Main from September 11-15, Knorr-Bremse will be on booth 91 and booth 98 in hall 3.0.

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