Leading the way with trailer intelligence

Pioneering the first global Intelligent Braking Platform for trailers, ZF builds on its unparalleled innovation record.

ZF is fully leveraging the transfer of technologies across vehicle segments building on the expertise of WABCO, which now operates under the ZF brand as its Commercial Vehicle Control Systems division. ZF is also continuing to deliver ground-breaking solutions at the forefront of Vehicle Motion Control, Integrated Safety, Automated Driving and Electric Mobility.

Intelligent Braking Platform – Industry’s first global braking platform for trailers, combining iABS and iEBS on one common platform
At the heart of ZF’s Commercial Vehicle Control Systems division, WABCO Trailer Solutions offers an Intelligent Braking Platform. The platform combines a suite of intelligent Anti-Lock Braking Systems (ABS) and Electronic Braking Systems (EBS) which are suitable for almost all trailer types world-wide. This Intelligent Braking Platform enhances trailer safety and efficiency, enabling OEM globalisation and regional technology adaptation through standardised iABS and iEBS braking control systems.

ZF´s trailer ABS and EBS help reduce accidents by shortening braking distances and protecting against jack-knifing, for example.

Today’s braking systems have evolved to become advanced controls and information centres for the trailer. In addition to controlling brakes and air suspension, ABS and EBS process a rich flow of sensor signals and data for up to 40 intelligent functions. This helps enable advanced vehicle safety, operational efficiency, reduced fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions, load optimisation and enhanced driver comfort.

Intelligent Braking Platform for trailers – enabling OEM globalisation and regional technology adaption
The global trailer braking systems market is mainly formed in three large clusters. Firstly, North America and China are currently using conventional brakes and standard Anti-Lock Braking Systems (ABS), with special trailer applications using electronic braking systems (EBS). In EMEA, Japan and Korea EBS is the standard. And, finally, there is a cluster of markets such as Brazil and Australia which is transitioning from ABS to EBS or have plans to do so.

One trend is particularly clear, however. All regions want to improve the safety and efficiency of road transportation and are realising that the trailer can play an important role. Every region, even though at a varied pace, is increasingly aware of the need to evolve safety and efficiency functionalities. ZF as a truly global player and partner to the industry is adapting products and technologies to meet those regional requirements and challenges. That is why ZF through WABCO Trailer Solutions is introducing its new Intelligent Braking Platform. It is the industry’s first global braking platform for trailers, combining iABS and iEBS on one common platform with three different performance and value levels: Basic, Standard and Premium.

Intelligent Braking Platform – Launch started in the US
After successful completion of a pilot phase in cooperation with a premium US trailer builder, more than 3,000 trailers are already equipped with iABS. The first variant of the Intelligent Braking Platform now officially launched is the new iABS for the important North American market. It is locally assembled in the US. The focus is on making the trailer smarter, enabling it, for the first time, to activate up to 20 functions of ZF’s award-winning Intelligent Trailer Program. This includes Lift Axle Control, Door Ajar, Axle Load Monitoring via ZF´s SmartBoard or TrailerCAST. The Trailer Telematics (TrailerCAST) is key when it comes to digitalisation and connectivity of trailers.

With the new Intelligent Braking Platform, ZF is also enabling better accessibility to safety and efficiency technologies in all regions. Thus, ZF plans to introduce a special EBS Basic Steel variant for leaf spring trailers in Brazil, Russia, India and China providing easier access to Roll Stability Support (RSS) functionality for those markets. ZF is also enhancing functionality in EMEA with the upcoming iEBS by integrating the Electronic Air Suspension OptiLevel™, the Tire Pressure Monitoring (OptiTire™) and Rear Collision Avoidance with Automatic Braking (TailGUARD™) Electronic Control Unit in the Premium EBS modulator.

The EMEA iEBS will also come with an innovative Park Release Valve (PRV) with one-button-operation replacing the common two-button PRVs.

Intelligent Braking Platform – lean production for trailer builders, enhanced efficiency and uptime for fleet operators
Standardised and shared components, worldwide, would ensure greater cost and time efficiency across the complete trailer life chain including trailer building, fleet operating, the aftermarket, servicing and workshops.

The new Intelligent Braking Platform introduces standardised hardware, software and a uniform cable concept: iABS and iEBS use the same cable system. Whatever trailer is built, retrofitted or serviced internationally – it will be simplified.

As a result, trailer OEMs will benefit from global lean production, shorter installation times, be able to simplify their production lines and reduce cable and component stocks. Platforming and harmonising hardware and software also help aftermarket resellers and workshops with better spare parts availability as well as shorter installation and training times. This will speed up service times at the Group’s 3,100-plus global trailer workshop solutions and service partners in over 119 countries just as it will for all other workshops outside the ZF network. This means vehicles will be quicker to get back on the road again, further improving vehicle uptimes.

Fleet operators and OEMs will also particularly benefit from one specific feature: as iABS and iEBS will support 5V Controller Area Network communication ports (CAN) and Generic In/Out ports (GIO), every single trailer can become intelligent and connected to a telematics unit without requiring a system upgrade. This provides benefits such as trailer health condition monitoring and preventive maintenance capabilities to optimise logistical processes as well as driver guidance and support.

Further standardisation of trailer iABS and iEBS hardware and software will streamline building and servicing of trailers and at the same time enable customisation and individualisation of each trailer to better serve the complex customer needs for flexibility, specificity, speed and safety.

150 years of innovation and groundbreaking technology; saving lives and increasing sustainability. ZF continues to build on WABCO’s unparalleled braking technology.