Knorr-Bremse at the IAA: Interacting with the future of the commercial vehicle industry

Shaping tomorrow’s transportation. Together. Knorr-Bremse, the global market leader for braking systems and a leading supplier of other safety-critical rail and commercial vehicle systems, is building its presence at the IAA around the key trends in the commercial vehicle market.

On island exhibits themed around Traffic Safety, Connectivity, Emissions Reduction & Elec-tric Mobility and Automated Driving, the company is showcasing its latest products and sys-tems with the aid of large-scale touchscreens and interactive 3D animations. Visitors can experience the products and functions with the aid of application scenarios and see how things work in detail. At the Trailer and Aftermarket booth in the outdoor area, the company is utilizing augmented reality to provide insights into the hardware.

As Dr. Peter Laier, Member of the Executive Board of Knorr-Bremse AG responsible for the Commercial Vehicle Systems division explains: “With our themed islands we are looking straight into the future of commercial vehicles, and the application scenarios show what we contribute to the most important challenges facing the industry. The continuous improvement of Traffic Safety is anchored in the DNA of Knorr-Bremse, which is why this topic is at the heart of our presentation with the other three islands grouped around it. The Connectivity presentation focuses on the connection between commercial vehicles and the outside world by showcasing concrete application scenarios, such as for transportation optimization and driver training, which can make life easier for professional users. Under the heading of Emis-sions Reduction and E-Mobility, we show solutions aimed at cleaning up diesel emissions and driving forward electric mobility. And our Automated Driving island display underlines the added value that driver assistance systems can bring and how in the future the various sys-tems will be more and more closely connected, paving the way for automated driving. Mean-while, in the New Mobility World arena we are demonstrating what can already be achieved technologically through vehicle automation today.”

Bernd Spies, Chairman of the Executive Board of Knorr-Bremse’s Commercial Vehicle Sys-tems division, sums up the company’s approach: “When selecting our exhibits, we were much more focused than in previous years, choosing to concentrate on the customer benefits that our systems deliver and their innovative properties, and presenting these far more elaborately than in the past by means of animations and graphic displays. With the aid of the latest presentation technologies we can enter into direct dialogue with visitors and explain the so-lutions we can offer for the mobility of the future.”

It’s all about safety
The core products from the Knorr-Bremse portfolio on the topic of Traffic Safety are on show in the centerpiece of the booth, a stylized truck-and-trailer model. These include the two new disc brakes, SYNACT® and NEXTT®, and the new GSBC brake control system, through which Knorr-Bremse has amalgamated the ABS and EBS system architectures.

Other products on show in the context of traffic safety include the steering, the EAC air treatment system with integrated parking brake, and the vehicle environment sensors. Also in the line-up is the new all-aluminum two-piston compressor with clutch which delivers the  compressed air and thus serves as the basis for many different functions such as braking, pneumatic suspension, and coupling tractor vehicles and trailers. The aluminum compressor is substantially lighter than its predecessor, contributing to a reduction in emissions.

Large-scale touchscreens let visitors dive deep into the details and workings of the systems
on show, from compressed air generation via its treatment and distribution all the way to the brake control system and the wheel brake.

Connectivity – focus on application scenarios
With the two large touchscreens on the Connectivity island, visitors can take a detailed look
at the wide range of functions offered by the cross-brand telematics solution Knorr-Bremse
ProFleet Connect®, the SafetyDirect system which is used primarily in North America, and
the iTAP trailer remote control system within a variety of application scenarios, sorted by
target groups.
For fleet operators there are ways of optimizing the coordination of their trucks and trailers,
boosting capacity uptake or reducing their administrative cost and effort, each configurable
to match the application in question. Drivers can expect benefits such as driving tips delivered
in real time, streamlined documentation or wireless trailer control via smartphone app. Visitors
can choose from among multiple application scenarios and discover the benefits that the
various connectivity solutions can offer them based on concrete examples.
Minimizing emissions – solutions for vehicles with combustion engines and for electric
Trucks with combustion engines will remain a mainstay of long-distance transportation, while
urban deliveries in particular will increasingly be handled by electric vehicles. So the range
of exhibits on this island extends from high-precision, rapid-action actuators and intelligent
control units to cut fuel consumption in conventional powertrains, all the way to high-performance
electrical systems to drive electric vehicles and provide them with onboard power.
Also on show are purely mechanical solutions such as Active Caliper Release (ACR) that
help improve environmental compatibility and energy efficiency. And there are answers to
questions like: Why do the high-precision electric actuators for the engine air management
play an important part in attaining the upcoming emissions targets for diesel engines? Or
what makes the electrically powered screw compressor so important in electric mass transit
Automated driving – an overview of driver assistance systems and automated driving
On the Automated Driving island visitors can obtain an interactive overview of established
and future driver assistance systems from Knorr-Bremse. They will learn which components
are involved, how commercial vehicle driver assistance systems differ from those in cars, and
what the technical prerequisites are. The outcome is a clearer understanding of the gradual
evolution from more and more versatile assistance functions to highly automated driving.
In this sector, Knorr-Bremse has already set a number of milestones in the commercial vehicle
market. In 2010, Knorr-Bremse brought the first ever emergency braking system to market;
in 2015, the first system that employed data fusion to evaluate a combination of radar
and camera data. At the IAA Commercial Vehicles show in 2016, Knorr-Bremse presented a
prototype that was able to perform Autonomous Yard Maneuvering, moving fully autonomously
within an enclosed depot. That same year, Knorr-Bremse also presented a blind spot
assistant that uses radar and cameras to monitor the relevant side of the vehicle. The driver
receives a visual or acoustic warning signal if there is a cyclist or pedestrian in the danger zone. Figures from the German Federal Statistical Office for 2016 show that 17% of accidents
involving commercial vehicles occur during “turning off, turning round, reversing, maneuvering
or moving off.” The blind spot detection system presented by Knorr-Bremse can help bring
about a significant reduction in the number of blind-spot accidents involving bodily harm.