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Image: ZF

ZF and Faurecia have co-developed an operating and display concept cockpit for fully-automated Level 4 vehicles, which has no steering wheel or pedals. The Trendsetting Cockpit demonstration unit has instead three screens, plus a control lever in the center console that allows drivers to select either left- or right-hand positions for manual operations.

Underpinning the steering, acceleration and braking is the centralized computer, ZF ProAI, which orders the actuators for these functions. ‘Manual’ driving can be done via the control lever, which offers one-finger operation. The cockpit design and interaction concept, developed by Faurecia, optimizes the enhanced layout flexibility and space: removing the pedals and wheel could benefit delivery drivers, who frequently get in and out, for example, or access for taxi passengers. It also promises no need to separately manufacture left- and right-hand drive vehicle components or models, and thus cost savings for OEMs.

Secondary functions such as turn signals, horn and wipers are also touchscreen-integrated, reducing cabin clutter. Two additional screens at either side of the dashboard can be configured according to driver preference, and these can display data or perform job tasks during the automated drive – unhindered by a steering wheel to block the view.

“The Trendsetting Cockpit will give the drivers of large taxis or delivery trucks many of the freedoms that they want as we head toward automated driving,” said Uwe Class, director of integrated safety, ZF, in a statement.

Faurecia, meanwhile, has just announced that it has finalized its proposal to take 100pc of shares in Parrot Automotive. This move will, it says, accelerate its development of infotainment solutions based on Parrot’s Android operating system; development of an open platform integrating connected systems and functionalities in vehicle interiors; and the introduction of user experiences such as immersive sound, new HMI solutions, and functions for postural and thermal comfort.

-Farah Alkhalisi