Mobility Solutions

Smart Trailer Parking – Reversing with trailer via smartphone For safe, easy, and comfortable reversing of car/trailer combinations, ZF Lenksysteme GmbH has developed a reversing assistant.

  • Easy steering of the vehicle with its trailer via smartphone/tablet
  • Control of bending angle and speed
  • No blind spot thanks to remote control of the car/trailer combination from outside
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  • September 10, 2013
  • Mobility Solutions
  • Press releases

press release

Core components of the system are the Servolectric® electric power steering by ZF Lenksysteme (ZFLS) and a trailer coupling with bending angle sensor by ZF Friedrichshafen AG. The assistant is controlled via a smartphone app developed by ZFLS which sets the angle and speed. In addition to an automatic transmission, an electric power steering system is required for changing the driving direction.

Most drivers are overchallenged by maneuvering with a trailer. The steering maneuvers that the driver has to perform when reversing with a car/trailer combination contradict the experience gained during driving without a trailer. An incorrect steering motion causes the trailer to buckle too strongly or into the wrong direction. Furthermore, the trailer restricts the view to the rear causing a blind spot. Reversing with a trailer is thus posing a challenge even to experienced drivers.

Comfortable and safe remote control of the car/trailer combination via smartphone app
In order to also enable inexperienced drivers to reverse with a trailer and to reduce the accident risk and the stress level of the people involved, ZF Lenksysteme has developed this function. The driver maneuvers the vehicle with its trailer from outside by a self-developed app using a smartphone or tablet computer. The driver can position himself so that he has an optimum overview of the trailer, drawing vehicle, and the environment. The blind spot is eliminated, a banksman is therefore no longer required.

Before starting to drive, the desired direction of travel and speed can be set via the app. Then, the driver adjusts the display according to the real car/trailer combination for better orientation. If the user touches the virtual trailer on the display, the vehicle with its trailer is set in motion at the preset speed. By moving the trailer on the touch screen, the driver can determine the bending angle and thus the desired direction of travel of the car/trailer unit. If the driver moves the finger away from the touch screen, the unit stops immediately. When driving forward, the user moves the vehicle instead of the trailer. The bending angle is adjusted via a special algorithm by the electric power steering system (EPS) while driving. In addition, the system prevents the trailer from excessive bending and therefore ensures maneuvering ability and avoids collisions between the drawing vehicle and the trailer.

While the driver has to deal with the complicated handling of the steering wheel and the pedals and follow the instructions given by the banksman when maneuvering without an assistant, only the bending angle has to be set for assistant-controlled maneuvering. This way, both filtering into a loading bay and parking with the trailer can be managed more fluently and in one step. Even drivers who have never driven with a trailer are able to safely maneuver it using Smart Trailer Parking within just a few minutes. But, in test operation, experienced drivers of car/trailer combinations also reacted positively to the increase in comfort and safety. Smart Trailer Parking uses exclusively technology that is already installed in every modern mid-size car with automatic transmission today.

Click here to find further information.

At the 65th International Motor Show in Frankfurt, Bosch is showcasing technical solutions for connected mobility. A variety of innovations are helping to make road traffic cleaner and more efficient, as well as safer and more comfortable. Bosch is exhibiting its highlights at booth A04 in hall 8.

ZF Lenksysteme GmbH, a 50:50 joint venture of Robert Bosch GmbH and ZF Friedrichshafen AG, is a specialist and technological leader in the field of steering equipment and has a workforce of more than 13.000 at 18 locations in eight countries. In 2013, the Group generated revenues of 4.1 billion euros.

PI8293 - September 10, 2013

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