With the demonstration of its first steer-by-wire system for passenger cars, ZF complements its comprehensive by-wire technology program and claims to hold a leading position in the industry.
As part of an annual global technology event, ZF presented its advanced steer-by-wire technology for the front axle.
Steer-by-wire technology transmits driving commands to the steering system entirely via electrical signals, replacing the mechanical connection between the steering wheel and front axle. ZF expects by-wire technology to play an increasingly important role in all aspects of vehicle motion control in the future - longitudinal, transverse, and vertical.
To future-proof the technology, the latest generation of supporting software for the by-wire actuators can be updated wirelessly - over the air - at any time. ZF has already received several volume orders from international vehicle manufacturers for its new steer-by-wire system.
»ZF's all-electric steering system represents the cutting edge of by-wire technology. In a highly competitive environment, ZF thus holds a top position because we are the first to offer a holistic by-wire vehicle control system,« says Wolf-Henning Scheider, CEO of ZF Friedrichshafen.
»Our divisions are working together in close partnership to leverage further potential through mutual technology transfer. ZF's new steer-by-wire technology is an important prerequisite for advanced automation of passenger cars and, true to our guiding philosophy, 'developed once, usable everywhere,' will also find application in commercial vehicle automation,« Scheider continues.
ZF is the developer and manufacturer of a whole range of by-wire systems that do not require a direct physical connection:
The combination of these technologies results in strong system solutions. Software and combined E/E architectures play a key role. By-wire systems offer better vehicle control, shorter braking distances, more steering flexibility, greater driving stability at high speeds, and increased range and efficiency.
With by-wire technologies, the strength of the steering assistance or braking torque can be adjusted as the driver is used to. If necessary, immediate adaptation to external circumstances is possible: For example, the technology increases braking force to shorten the stopping distance or skilfully avoid an obstacle - faster than the driver would ever be able to.
ZF's IBC braking system enables regenerative braking and energy recovery to recharge electric vehicle batteries. A good example of how chassis and electric drive systems can work together to improve driving dynamics and increase range - all in one compact system.