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The new nerve center: ZF expands its cubiX vehicle motion control portfolio to commercial vehicles

ZF integrates commercial vehicle expertise in its cubiX vehicle motion control offering

As commercial vehicles become more automated, electrified and connected, vehicle motion control technologies are becoming increasingly important in managing ever more complex vehicle systems. Additionally, the discussions about the software-defined-truck and the related E/E architecture require new approaches to ensure modular and high performing vehicle motion control systems. ZF’s advanced motion control system, cubiX, is designed for precisely this purpose. Building on decades of expertise across multiple applications, ZF’s cubiX portfolio, originally developed and successfully in series production for the passenger car sector, is now expanded and available for commercial vehicles to create one holistic ZF offering for advanced vehicle motion control.

As with passenger cars, electronic control functionalities are also increasing in commercial vehicles, leading to a growing demand for dedicated control units. With the emergence of new electrical and electronic vehicle technologies, all vehicle actuators including brakes, driveline and steering can be managed cohesively through centralized control software. This is where cubiX comes into play: the ZF-software controls all actuators to ensure vehicle stability, safety, precision and performance. The system is now also available for commercial vehicle customers, customized to their individual needs and includes software, hardware as well as system integration and system engineering services.

With the launch of cubiX for commercial vehicles, ZF demonstrates how its cross-divisional synergies and its industry-leading vehicle motion control expertise enable it to bring cost effective solutions to the market for ‘ready-to-automate’ vehicle motion control management: “It was obvious for us to expand our software platform portfolio for Vehicle Motion Control to meet the needs of commercial vehicles,” explains Dr. Holger Klein, CEO of the ZF Group. “It has always been one of ZF’s strengths and competitive advantages to adapt innovative technologies that we initially developed for one mobility application to several segments.”

Prof. Dr. Peter Laier, member of the ZF Board of Management and responsible for the commercial vehicle business, adds: “Once again, our commercial vehicle customers benefit from the concentrated know-how of the ZF Group when it comes to software and function development. This is becoming increasingly important in the integration of modern assistance systems, which can significantly increase the safety of commercial vehicles.”

Great potential for automation

cubiX interfaces with all virtual driver systems and the vehicle actuators to ensure required safety, precision and vehicle performance in challenging driving scenarios such as freight yards or ports, where there is more scope to deploy automated technologies compared to public roads. Thus, cubiX for commercial vehicles is an enabling technology for higher level automation.

Automating vehicle movements in freight yards and ports can greatly increase efficiency and productivity, while addressing key issues impacting the logistics industry such as ongoing driver shortages, especially for night-time operations.

That is why ZF’s cubiX makes it simpler for vehicle manufacturers and end-users. Virtual driver system suppliers and OEMs can focus on their core competencies, taking care of perception and planning as well as the vehicle itself. ZF is ensuring ‘ready-to-automate’ vehicle motion control thanks to its X-by-wire product portfolio.

The software has been tested in the field under real-life conditions and has already proved to be highly effective in a recent long-term pilot study in Germany, where cubiX was successfully deployed in a freight yard.

Role model cubiX in passenger cars

For passenger cars, cubiX is already established on the market and has proven itself in series production. The attractiveness of the platform is also demonstrated by its modular structure. By offering a standardized range of basic functions, ZF creates synergy effects in the development and optimization of driving-specific functions.

With the “Variable Driving Characteristics” function, for example, drivers can individually adapt the specific driving character of a car – from quiet and comfortable cruising to agile and sporty sprints. Compared to the previously common ‘Sport mode’, cubiX not only changes the steering force, but also the vehicle’s response to the steering input. The “Trailer Stability Assist” function can be used to minimize the inclination of trailers, as above a certain speed they tend to lurch – a danger to the stability of the entire car-trailer combination. The assistance function available in cubiX corrects this in a targeted, concise and prompt way, thereby increasing stability and safety without the vehicle having to reduce its cruising speed.

In cooperation with The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, ZF has integrated Goodyear SightLine into the cubiX ecosystem. This provides further tire and road data into the vehicle motion control software. Goodyear’s suite of tire intelligence technologies is capable of detecting aquaplaning situations at an early stage and recommends optimum speeds for better vehicle control. If an increased risk of aquaplaning is detected, cubiX reduces the velocity, supports the driver in his reaction and helps to stabilize the vehicle.


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