Who needs a steering wheel?

July 6, 2018

FOCUS has just returned from Friedrichshafen, Germany, where we have seen the future of trucking … and it looks utterly fascinating!

We were invited to Friedrichshafen by ZF. The company hosts Technology Days each year, during which it predicts and demonstrates future technology. This year, one of the most fascinating topics was the cab of the future which – according to the very clever engineers at ZF – won’t require a steering wheel or pedals for that matter.

Instead, the vehicle will be “driven” by a joystick in the middle of the cab. That’s if you actually want to drive the vehicle, of course – because autonomy will be the order of the day.

On display at the Technology Day was a van boasting a futuristic interior – dubbed the Trendsetting Cockpit – which was created by ZF and Faurecia. It was equipped with three screens, which are used to control features such as the indicators, hooter and windshield wipers.

Because the vehicle is driven by the joystick, the driver can sit on the left or right of the van. While there, he can receive orders from the vehicle’s centralised computer, ZF ProAI, or he can chill and watch a movie, while the vehicle drives itself. We reckon that the future is going to be a great place to be!

Look out for issue 8 of FOCUS, which will contain a full report on ZF’s Technology Day.

My friends call me a glomad (a global nomad lest you don’t get it). That’s a particularly apt word, because I am always trawling all corners of the globe, looking for stories. As a result, I have slept in some seriously strange places – on a bed of ice in the Arctic circle, on the floor in a traditional Japanese hotel, on the sand dunes in the Wadi Rum Desert in Jordan … and even on the floor of a Thai cargo ship. Mostly however I tend to sleep on aircraft (if I had a dog, he would bark at me when I eventually come home). I am passionate about trucks, cars, travel, food, wine, people and hugs – so I write about all these things. Except the hugs.

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