ZF develops networked eLSD technology

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ZF claims the “next digital chapter” of vehicle dynamics for off-road and sports vehicles is imminent, following its development of a new generation of electronic limited slip differential (eLSD). The main innovation in this active rear-axle drive is a chip set in the ECU that enables vehicle software to be updated via the cloud, with cyber-security standards protecting the update process.

“The new generation of our eLSD rear axle transmission supports a comprehensive, high-quality system network with additional vehicle functions,” said Sebastian Dendorfer, project manager at ZF. “This means that driving conditions can be handled more easily, which leads to advantages in dynamics, safety and comfort.”

The eLSD is fully networked with the vehicle braking system, bringing claimed benefits to both off-road and on-road driving dynamics, as well as stability and comfort. Additional interfaces, such as the CAN with flexible data-rate (CAN FD) allow for a connection between the eLSD and ZF’s Integrated Brake Control system (IBC), allowing for a close interaction between drive and brakes. The result, says ZF, is better traction and oversteer protection, as well as increased stability when towing or during lane changes. The company also says that particular advantages can be seen when climbing hills off-road, as well as during acceleration and µ-split braking. Improved modulated automatic braking and avoidance of high engine revving at traction maneuvers make for greater comfort.

The eLSD system features a potential locking torque of up to 3,000Nm and is therefore also suitable for heavy vehicles and high-performance engines. The modular design is compatible with different final drive ratios as well as different axle drive sizes.

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Adam divides his time as an editor between the worlds of aviation and motoring. These worlds may seem a little diverse today, but autonomous technology and future urban mobility is bringing them ever-closer. Adam is also chairman of the Vehicle Dynamics International Awards.

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