We take care of turnkey development packages and get the latest technologies into volume production
Our promise also goes for the commercial vehicles and work machines segment: We always succeed in taking innovative solutions to volume production. As experienced specialists with expertise in the entire vehicle, we take care of turnkey development packages and, if asked to, connect our OEM clients with the right suppliers for their project. We do not only build on our wealth of successful heavy-duty powertrain development activities – our engineers have also demonstrated that they can find tailor-made solutions for our customers when it comes to electronics and integral vehicle functions.
In the work we do, we see ourselves as partners to our customers who benefit from our expert support from the initial idea to getting a solution ready for production. Our autonomous teams work on an interdisciplinary basis at IAV’s operations across Germany – and, if they are requested to, also directly on location at our clients.
IAV is a powerful engineering partner for the commercial-vehicle powertrain with expertise in production-ready development and innovations
Total cost of ownership (TCO) and emission requirements are the driving forces behind optimizing vehicle drive systems. Given the demand for high power output, the long daily running times and decentralized application of commercial vehicles and mobile machines, there is no universal alternative in the foreseeable future to the diesel engine as the standard primary source of propulsion. For this reason, the focus in development work is moving to the vehicle’s overall energy management regime with the aim of combining different forms of propulsion, energy transfer systems and energy storage devices to the best possible advantage. We additionally improve efficiency by networking systems and automating vehicle and machine systems in mobile machines.
IAV has all-encompassing expertise to satisfy these complex demands
We develop vehicle drive systems to the point of manufacturing readiness in turnkey projects on location at and in cooperation with our clients. We do this using state-of-the-art development methods and tools, some produced in-house at IAV and which provide the flexibility necessary for matching them to a project’s specific needs. Our project teams are built from experienced staff with an eye for the big picture and from young team members with new ideas and approaches.
From exterior to driver assistance systems: We cover the full range of development activities and also understand the interfaces between disciplines
These days, driver’s cabs in trucks and work machines need to meet all manner of demands: They are not only the driver’s workplace but in many cases also provide temporary living quarters. This is why we always follow an integrated approach when we develop driver’s cabs.
Electronic systems in the cockpit enhance safety
We make trucks safer with modern driver assist systems – such as emergency braking assistants of the type prescribed in law from 2016 onwards. Our engineers develop driving environment sensor systems, algorithms for driving environment detection and integrate their solutions into complete driver assistance systems. We give the driver a clearer and better overall picture in the cockpit by integrating many additional functions that are often still provided today by separate devices – like solutions for fleet management that link the truck driver directly with the distributor. We create interfaces to these additional systems and connect them with existing control units so the information they provide can be displayed directly on the displays that already exist in the cab. And, of course, we also advise our clients on designing new user interfaces in the cockpit and develop electronic platforms, such as for computers onboard trucks and agricultural machinery. On request, we can also take care of producing these devices.
High-quality interior and exterior for the driver’s cab
The incidence of light from outside often produces irritating reflections inside agricultural machinery cabs in particular. In our indoor lighting test facility we can assess and optimize window design so that the displays are easy to read in any situation. And our interior specialists create a work environment that helps the truck driver and also provides a pleasant surrounding to relax in after the day’s work has been done. Using flexible seat concepts, intelligent adaptive lighting systems and high-quality surfaces, they create living quarters that let truck drivers feel at ease and completely unwind. Finally, our exterior specialists attend to the design of trucks. They devise und engineer new driver’s cabs, while using new, easily recyclable plastics for add-on parts, like flaps and trim elements.
We take an interdisciplinary approach to our projects: With a mixed range of expertise, our teams fully understand the interfaces between disciplines, allowing them to take on complete development packages.
In our projects we always have the overall vehicle in focus – particularly in E/E integration, chassis development and vehicle safety
In today’s commercial vehicles dozens of control units all work together to provide all sorts of vehicle functions. This comes with a whole host of questions: Does a central computer make sense or are several distributed computers the better option? What effects does a proposed architecture have on computing capacity, failure safety and serviceability? We define the distribution of functions and interconnect the control units. And during the development process we make sure from the very outset that the distributed systems all work together in the way they should. We test their functions on hardware-in-the-loop test benches, in reference vehicles and on vehicle prototypes. Our vehicle electrical system specialists take care of ensuring that the electronic subsystems are reliably connected. They develop complete cable harnesses and are in full command of the entire development process – from initial concept to start of volume production.
Experts in chassis design and electronics
In the area of chassis development, we work closely with our subsidiary TRE, giving us all-embracing expertise both in designing chassis as well as in chassis electronics. Our focus is on systems for controlling steering, braking and active wheel suspension. We develop active suspension management concepts, for example, to optimize commercial-vehicle driving dynamics and drivability. Other projects concentrate on controlling axle systems on the basis of controlled shock absorbers, on controlling air suspension ride height and on adjustable stabilizers. And in braking, we cover the full development spectrum – from layout, design and computation to simulation of NVH behavior in the formation of hot spots on brake disks. A further focus is on integrating brake control systems into the E/E architecture of vehicles.
Vehicle safety comes first
We also develop passive restraint systems for the cockpit – such as the overall operation of airbags, which are now increasingly finding their way into trucks. Here too, we are always at our customers’ side from the initial concept through to the point of validation for volume production, intermeshing computation, design and testing. And in our crash-testing facility as well as on a broad range of specific test benches, we make sure that all systems work correctly both during and at the end of the development process. Our sled facility also puts us in a position to test individual driver’s cabs for crash safety without the need for an entire vehicle.
We connect: Creating high-performance solutions for tomorrow from truck and trailer or from work machine and implement. And our telematics systems stay in permanent contact with central fleet management.
Trucks and agricultural machines are turning into systems of ever greater complexity – such as in the combination of truck and trailer. The future will see both of them communicating with each other to a greater extent, e.g. for recovering braking energy. For this purpose, IAV is developing new interfaces between tractor and semitrailer that can be used on a cross-brand basis. Needless to say, we also verify the operational safety of new vehicle functions within the truck / trailer combination – to make both “stand-alone units” a reliable overall system in the future.
Increasingly, agricultural machines, like tractors, are also turning into multifunctional mobile machines that can be upgraded in any chosen way on a modular basis – such as with mounted implements for harvesting. More and more of them are being driven electrically rather than hydraulically, bringing greater flexibility to the control systems. The basis for this is provided by ISOBUS which IAV has been actively involved in defining. This detailed knowledge lets us reliably connect mounted implements to the machines, ensure efficient operating control and display all information from the mounted attachments on the terminal in the cockpit.
Predictive diagnostics as opposed to downtime
Particularly in logistics, many companies are applying telematics systems today for managing their vehicles – they can be used, for example, in the predictive diagnosis of central components, such as engine, transmission or brakes, enabling fleet operators to obtain replacement parts in good time and avoid prolonged vehicle downtimes. IAV develops the algorithms for diagnostic systems of this type and integrates them into existing control units.
And what does the future of transport hold?
Working hand in hand with our colleagues from IAV’s Consulting4Drive (C4D) consultancy company, we introduce our clients to the latest technical developments and new business models. The current focus is on alternative fuels, such as compressed natural gas, on creating an optimized infrastructure for logistics companies to introduce gaseous-fuel or electric vehicles, and on cost/benefit analyses for putting together a vehicle fleet.