ZF Innovation Truck allows manoeuvring via tablet app

ZF Innovation truck app ZF Innovation truck app
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ZF Innovation truck app photo ZF Innovation truck app photo

ZF demonstrates new truck concept that allows a driver to control a truck from outside the vehicle via their tablet.

At a demonstration in Germany, transmission manufacturer ZF showed a truck that could be operated via a tablet by a driver who is outside the vehicle. Designed for low-speed situations, the system aims to simplify the process of reversing a B-double or manoeuvring through a terminal.

With the swipe of a finger, drivers can adjust the desired speed and orientation of the truck.

"The manoeuvring assistant in the Innovation Truck completely relieves the driver of this steering work and much more," ZF engineering product manager Olrik Weinmann says.

"They can get out and move the tractor-trailer to the exact position required with only small finger print movements and using a special tablet app," Weinmann adds.

By focusing on a system designed for use in private settings, ZF has sidestepped much of the legal issues that autonomous trucks on public roads will have to deal with. As a safety feature, the truck stops if it senses that the tablet has lost the wireless connection, or if the operator takes their finger off the tablet.

"We have realised completely new assistant functions that are incredibly efficient and, at the same time, relatively simple to implement. They can also provide answers to many of the complex challenges that forwarding and logistics companies face on a daily basis," Weinmann adds. 

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