With plug and socket as well as spiral cable and data channel, this system includes all components necessary for transmitting digital data for example from the back end of a semi-trailer to the driver's cab and back. Developed in cooperation with ZF Friedrichshafen, the system, which is based on the Automotive Ethernet 1000BASE-T1 standard, achieves a data transmission rate of 1 Gbit/s over a channel length of 40 meters.
A lot is expected to happen in the next decade to improve road safety, especially for heavy trucks and other commercial vehicles. One of the drivers for this development is the General Safety Regulation (GSR). This EU regulation provides for the introduction of various driver assistance and safety systems - including an improvement in the immediate field of vision for the driver. This can be achieved, for example, by using cameras to monitor the vehicle's surroundings. However, current connectors for trailer operation do not offer the necessary data transfer rates required for such applications. In cooperation with the automotive supplier ZF Friedrichshafen, ERICH JAEGER, as a specialist for trailer connectors, has addressed this problem.
Automotive research association as starting point
The cooperation between the two automotive supplier companies came about, among other things, through their joint participation in the Research Association of Automotive Technology (Forschungsvereinigung Automobiltechnik – FAT) under the umbrella of the VDA (Verband der Automobilindustrie – German Association of the Automotive Industry). The FAT already published a study in May 2021 on broadband data transmission between truck and trailer as a prerequisite for highly automated driving of truck-trailer combinations. ERICH JAEGER's participation in this study benefited from the fact that the company has already been dealing with the topic of data connectors for several years and had already developed several design studies for various application purposes in the agricultural and commercial vehicle industry.
A connector system to meet the requirements of the General Safety Regulation
The research work that was started at the FAT should naturally also result in a concrete application. Therefore, ZF Friedrichshafen AG decided to develop a system for data transmission between towing vehicle and trailer that meets all requirements of the GSR for future truck-trailer combinations. For the data channel and the plug-in connections, the company decided to cooperate with ERICH JAEGER.
Technical features of the new plug-in system for data transmission
Interested parties can examine the result of the cooperation at the IAA Transportation, which takes place from September 20 to 25 in Hanover on the ERICH JAEGER booth (Hall 26, Booth D05). The connector has two shielded 2-pin data lines with a transmission rate of 1Gbit/s according to 1000BAS-T1 Ethernet. In addition, there are several power contacts with a diameter of 1.5 to 6 mm², the number and composition of which can vary depending on the application and customer requirements.
Advantages of a proven connector system
The external geometry of the connectors corresponds to the 15-pole trailer connectors and the 7-pole ABS/EBS connector system known from ERICH JAEGER. This has the advantage that the user does not have to get used to a completely new connector system but can work with familiar components. In addition, the data connectors thus also take over many advantageous features of the proven systems, such as the robust, fiberglass-reinforced housing of the connectors, the simple installation of the components or the high water-tightness of the system.
Further details on the connector system as well as on the FAT study can be found on the ERICH JAEGER website: https://www.erich-jaeger.com/en/products/product-innovations/data-connectors-for-commercial-vehicles