Smart Urban Vehicle parks itself and knows when hands are on the wheel

zf_global_press_event_01The ZF Group, the new owner of TRW is showing its concept Smart Urban Vehicle with semi-autonomous features and a steering wheel with many functions including hands-on detection (HOD) and organic light-emitting diode (OLED) display.

Smart Parking Assist maneuvers the vehicle into virtually any small parking space. Smart Parking Assist can park the vehicle fully automatically in parallel or perpendicular spaces. Parking spots are found by twelve ultrasound sensors and two infrared sensors on the vehicle’s front-end, rear-end, and flanks.

The driver can interact with the vehicle while parking via the display in the cockpit or start the parking function once they exit the vehicle by using an application on a mobile device. The Smart Urban Vehicle then automatically searches the surroundings at walking pace for a suitable gap and automatically initiates the parking process.

The driver can get out at the destination, saving time while the vehicle parks itself. If people don’t have to get out of the cars and can be parked with remote control, the cars can get into much smaller spaces.

The cloud-based PreVision Cloud Assist assistance function allows the system to reduce the drive torque, for instance, before entering the bend and thus throttles back the speed without any mechanical braking.

The driver is also in direct contact with the Smart Urban Vehicle via the steering wheel. The hands-on detection function covers the entire steering wheel and thus forms the basis for assistance and automated driving functions. An OLED display in the driver’s direct field of view provides the driver with additional information.

The all-electric rear-axle drive eTB (electric Twist Beam), which is mounted close to the wheel, lies at the heart of the vehicle concept. This drive enables the basic layout of the Smart Urban Vehicle to be redesigned. The front axle is also highly innovative, with steering angles of up to 75 degrees enormously increasing the agility and maneuverability of the prototype.

Due to the modified wheel deflection, the turning circle diameter of the Smart Urban Vehicle is reduced to under seven meters – a U-turn, in other words turning through 180 degrees, is possible with no difficulty on a standard two-lane road. This allows the concept vehicle to be maneuvered with ease into extremely small parking spaces.

The vehicle was built entirely in house.