The system can automatically execute lane-changing maneuvers initiated by the driver. It constantly monitors the space ahead and at the side of the vehicle and identify the type of lane in question. With its combination of awareness, decision, planning and steering, the system supports driving on multi-lane motorways without the necessity of any footwork at speeds between zero and 130 kmph (81 mph). This includes automated lane changes that can either be initiated by the driver or suggested by the car and then acknowledged by the driver.
The demonstration vehicle has been equipped with the ZF TRW’s next-gen radar/camera combo, an electric power steering with rack and pinion drive, and the electronic stability control. In combination with short range radar sensors in the four corners of the vehicle, it combines automated longitudinal and lateral steering and thus enables safely passing other cars.
It also keeps the right distance to the vehicle ahead – a function typically covered by ACC systems. Unlike existing ACC, it however can decide to change the lane in the case that a slower vehicle ahead occupies the same lane. The lateral radar sensors determine if there is enough space on the adjacent lanes to safely perform a passing maneuver. If this is the case, the system recommends to pass the slower vehicle. The driver can accept the recommendation by activating the appropriate turn signal, and the lateral and longitudinal controls will then pass the slower vehicle. The driver however can override the system at any time, ZF points out.
The system can be combined with advanced steering and vehicle control systems such as Active Kinematics Control (AKC) for steered rear axles or Continuous Damping Contrl for more comfort, said ZF.
The company however did not elaborate as to when the first series vehicles with this system can be expected to enter series production.