ZF Friedrichshafen AG has designed an Innovation Tractor to demonstrate how safety, comfort and efficiency can be enhanced by applying intelligent systems from the passenger car and commercial vehicle segments to off-highway vehicles.
The Innovation Tractor has environmental cameras to monitor its surroundings; the data from these cameras is then used to enable the vehicle to manoeuvre semi-autonomously or via mobile devices operated outside the driver’s cab, making it easier to hitch implements.
Cameras with pedestrian detection capabilities help to further enhance its safety. Drivetrain electrification is via the ZF TERRA+ generator module, an electric single-wheel drive for trailers and implements. Coupled with specially developed traction management, ZF say it provides optimum off-road manoeuvrability.
The Innovation Tractor is a standard tractor, upgraded with ZF components and assistance functions. “Our systems expertise enables us to combine established stand-alone systems to create a network so we can make vehicles see, think and act,” says Rd. Harald Naunheimer, Head of R&D at ZF Friedrichshafen AG.
An electric steering system, required for automatic driving functions, has been built into the control network and the driveline includes ZF’s TERRAMATIC transmission and TERRA+ generator module. This system generation can provide 60 kW of continuous electrical power and serves as the power source for the electrical consumers in the trailer.
“True to the ZF innovation concept, the Innovation Tractor brings together in a test prototype all the new functions we believe are practical for agricultural and construction applications,” says Harald Naunheimer. “The focus was on demonstrating what is already possible and technically feasible today, but sets a benchmark on future innovation.”