12 and 13 June 2018 | Munich | Germany
NEW CHASSIS SYSTEMS
In the context of electrification and lightweight design
Challenges for Level 4 and 5
CHASSIS CONTROL SYSTEMS
Focus on dynamics and comfort
Dr. Holger Klein
ZF Friedrichshafen AG
Robert Bosch Automotive Steering GmbH
Prof. Bernhard Schick
Dr. Andree Hohm
Continental Teves AG & Co. KG
Hyundai Motor Group
Autor: Michael Reichenbach
"Piloted Driving is Becoming Brutally Complex"
Over 500 chassis engineers demonstrated their solutions for automated driving at the chassis.tech plus 2018 – a record attendance figure. Thomas Müller from Audi presented the OEM’s viewpoint regarding the chassis of the future.
Although the conference leader, Prof. Peter E. Pfeffer, greeted the 525 participants and 19 exhibitors by asking the question of whether the chassis is still the distinguishing feature, all five speakers were very quick to agree that the chassis and its two subordinate functions of electrified and automated driving, in combination with driver assistance systems, will continue to expand its important role. Because after all, it is about developing solutions for fast and sporty driving, as well as being comfortably transported in partially or fully automated people movers without suffering from motion sickness.
The fact that Porsche and Audi recently assigned driver assistance systems to the chassis unit additionally indicates that the chassis has the edge. Because driving dynamics benefits the customer, car manufacturers have now assigned it much greater importance.
Audi’s Thomas Müller dared in his keynote address to give a look ahead at the future of the chassis from the point of view of an OEM up to the year 2025. Will it become a key strategic component or an everyday product? Mechatronics, software functions and electrification characterised the chassis over the last seven years. He said: "In the next seven years we must no longer look at technology alone; market success will in the future no longer be determined by product quality". Increasingly, the solutions and functions are becoming more important. "Piloted driving will become brutally complex, with a huge extent of responsibility", added Müller. For Audi, "premium" would mean still offering fun while achieving the last ten percent of what is possible. On the topic of automated driving, motion sickness must be considered. "What use is it to me, if after two minutes I am sick and have to stop the car?" Chassis development with all its facets will become the only strategic key competency. Only the chassis forms the foundation for superior product properties.
Holger Klein from ZF must now master an even bigger balancing act as a supplier to Audi. A broader portfolio of products and customers must be managed reliably. In doing so, the goal of a zero accident death rate and zero emissions must not leave our sight; it is becoming a reality much more quickly than we currently think. The individual areas at ZF, such as steering, braking, electric drives, driver assistance systems and occupant safety, must be merged in a transformational task; the connections between them must be built in order to achieve system-level expertise in addition to component knowledge. This is not possible with our own resources, says Klein. We must bring partners like Ibeo on board. The chassis will then become an integrated jack of all trades. "We see decoupled driving in the people mover on the one hand and sporty manual driving on the other. Driving dynamics still has its place. That’s where we came from, and we want to stay there", elaborated Klein.
Stefan Randak from Atreus outlined the disruptive changes in the car industry in general. Tesla is putting the established OEMs under pressure, and new Chinese players like Saic are emerging. Thus the automotive industry is facing a radical transformation. Europe meanwhile is in third place behind China and the USA when it comes to electric mobility. There are risks, however. A sales slump of only 10 percent would cause an OEM to experience serious cash flow problems with banks. Therefore, said Randak, there are three important things that need to be done: implementing a scenario plan, examining the portfolio with regard to promising fields, and focussing investments on key product innovations.
Roland Greul from Robert Bosch Automotive Steering, the first speaker at steering.tech 1999, considers steer-by-wire systems to be a solution for automated driving. There is more design leeway for the interior. "An opening into the passenger compartment for the steering column is no longer necessary", said Greul. For these systems to function, they must be "fail operational". The steering experience will become more significant because this driving task is still required for level 3 and level 4 systems, even though software could customise many functions for specific OEMs. A building block system covers the whole range of present and future vehicle platforms.
Finally, after the five keynote speakers, Prof. Bernhard Schick from Kempten University called for the engineers to think more about the consumers. User experience and trials are becoming more important, because often the solution from the developers is not always the best for the average person. He presented two studies on a Lane Keeping Assistant in detail. The first study examined the failure behaviour with 70 test persons. "We found that the stress factor of the test persons remains high even when the system functions perfectly", said Schick. They felt very stressed; the confidence in the system quickly decreased. The second study compared three cars with an LKAS, and it emerged that the participants rated the maturity of these system as low, between 40 and 58 percent. A poor outcome when you consider that tech-savvy early adopters or nerds assume values over 70 percent represent a technical development.
The Munich-based chassis tech plus symposium was held for the ninth time in 2018. The event can boast of 20 percent attendees from outside Germany, Austria and Switzerland, of which a large number are international guests. Next year, the programme team will be able to look back on the 10th chassis.tech plus of this kind and on a 20-year history of the chassis.tech.
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