Simplified controls improve HMI in new ZF concept

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ZF has unveiled a new HMI design, Concept 2020, designed to present the driver with information on all the vehicle’s assistance systems in one place. The aim is to reduce driver stress and build confidence in automated systems. ZF developed Concept 2020 with the support of the FKA Forschungsgesellschaft Kraftfahrwesen.

The driver has a bird’s-eye view of the vehicle on the Head Up Display Instrument Cluster (HUDIC), a centrally installed monitor. A 360°-view informs the driver why and to what extent the assistance system is intervening.

The display visualises safety-related functions for all assistance systems. It shows an oval with up to three grey lines around the vehicle – the Active Vehicle Aura (AVA). The number of lines represents the level of sensitivity of the control system and can be set from the steering wheel. Three lines mean that the system will intervene quickly and with a gentler reaction. One line means that intervention will occur later and be more forceful.

Applications including blind spot assist, adaptive cruise control and lane keeping assist can be detected and controlled centrally. Concept 2020 is designed for semi-automated driving at Level 2 – meaning that the driver’s hands should always stay on the wheel. ZF also says the system is designed for higher levels of autonomy in the future.

A seatbelt system combining an Active Buckle Lifter (ABL) and the Active Control Retractor (ACR) pretensioner has also been integrated into Concept 2020. ZF’s ACR8 has also been integrated with electronic assistance systems so that some seatbelt slack can be removed if a collision appears to be unavoidable. It also offers a further feature for automated driving – the belt generates high-frequency, vigorous pulsations to help alert the driver when action is required.

ZF says in a study carried out on a simulator during the development of Concept 2020, test subjects were able to understand the functions intuitively without explanation.

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As editor of four magazines at UKi Media & Events James brings over a decade of writing about, and obsessing over, technology and cars to Automotive Interiors World, Stadia, Winter Sports Technology International and Auditoria. Responsible for commissioning, writing and editing each issue he’s covered the best (and worst) from around the industry on a continual search to feature the latest innovation or talking point on the next cover.

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