A Genius Idea Gets Smarter

The next generation of the CAB Concept Cluster’s supplier-driven cab designs was launched at Agritechnica 2017.

The Smart Cab 2 Credit Lumod

The Smart Cab 5CCCThe bauma launch of the Genius CAB by the CAB Concept Cluster (CCC) ushered in a new perspective on changing the design dynamic away from OEM driven expectation and instead demonstrated the level of accomplishment that can be achieved at the system level when OEMs don’t stand in the way. More recently, the CCC launched its second model—named the Smart CAB—geared toward self-propelled agricultural vehicles like harvesters and field sprayers at Agritechnica 2017 in Hanover, Germany.

The modular nature of the Smart CAB is a key aspect of the CCC project that sought to decrease time and cost of development while still offering flexibility of individual modules. “On the one hand, the cluster partners want to present innovations that meet future demands and expectations of the market and generate high levels of customer benefit,” says Mathias Berger, Sales Director Agriculture of Robert Bosch GmbH. “On the other hand, users are able to choose precisely those elements that are suited to their needs.”

Looking to the future, the Smart CAB project ensured smart farming readiness with data-sharing capabilities such as being able to upload vehicle settings adjusted to specific conditions in the soil, field and environmental conditions. The ability to integrate new components is ensured by the cab’s high-performance body computer, created and installed by Bosch, that includes CAN, LIN, analogous and digital interfaces. Smart phone integration and drone applications were able to be demonstrated while the cab was on display at Agritechnica.

Safety considerations

One of the key concerns of any operator environment on heavy-duty equipment is safety. One of the CCC’s supplier members, HELLA, provided the various lighting and electronics concepts for the Smart CAB, such as its Matrix worklights and VISIOTECH projector system.HELLA's VISIOTECH projector systemHELLA's VISIOTECH projector systemCCC

The segmentation of the Matrix worklights allows certain areas to be dimmed to minimize glare for other vehicles in the field. A light reference sensor within the light reduces auto-glare that dust or auxiliary equipment and oncoming vehicles can cause.

An eye-tracking camera is integrated into the roof, traces the driver’s line of sight and dims the light in the remaining work area, leaving only the light in the areas the driver needs to see for work functions.

For more on HELLA’s advanced lighting solutions, as well as other lighting trends in the heavy-duty vehicle space, read Illuminating a Safer Work Environment at www.oemoffhighway.com/20987416.

The additional HELLA contribution, the VISIOTECH projector system, enables the vehicle to communicate with the outside environment by projecting warning signals or other designs onto the ground for visual alerts to nearby vehicles or workers.

Operator comfort

The Smart CAB’s human-centered design mission focused intensely on the growing expectations of operator comfort, intuition of controls and ergonomics. Ultimately, the cab has become the quintessential determiner of a vehicle’s innovation. How an operator perceives his experience working with a vehicle all stems from the interfaces, technology, features and comfort he or she is able to enjoy while putting in a long day on the jobsite.

Close-up of the Smart CAB's HMI system contribution from Grammer.Close-up of the Smart CAB's HMI system contribution from Grammer.CCCAs much as buying decisions are determined by OEM-driven facts and figures about a machine’s improved performance and productivity attributes, ultimately customer satisfaction and word of mouth propels a particular brand to the forefront for keeping workers happy and can engage a new generation of workers that may see heavy-duty machinery operation as an outdated field of work.

Additional interior viewAdditional interior viewCCCGrammer’s role in the CCC’s Smart CAB development included a suspended driver seat with electrically adjustable features, multifunctional armrests, and two 12-in. multi-touch screens for controlling all vehicle and comfort features. The first of the screens is integrated into the arm rest and controls the vehicle’s functions and seat settings. Another 12-in screen is mounted above the windshield in the cab and controls functions such as vehicle lighting, cabin climate, and auxiliary electronics connectivity display. The graphical user interface (GUI) was created in conjunction with another CCC partner, Dresden Technical University.

The Smart CAB driver’s seat has numerous electrically adjustable comfort features with memory functions like fore/aft and height adjustment, backrest tilt, seat cushion depth, seat angle and shoulder rest adjustments. The seat even has climate control and a massage function. The adjustments are all controllable from the display fitted into the armrest, which removes the need for conventional manual controls, though the modular nature of the cab design does allow for a cabin to be outfitted with conventional joysticks and switches to fit any customer’s wishes.

The Smart Cab 2 Credit LumodLUMODThese are just a few system contributions among several onboard technologies from the CCC’s many supplier and academic partners. MEKRA Lang, for example, developed the cab’s vision system, while Fritzmeier Cabs—a co-founder of the CAB Concept Cluster—is project manager and also contributed the cab’s steel structure. HYDAC’s hydro-pneumatic cab suspension system isolates the cab from the vehicle’s frame through vibration control versus full body vibration strains. The dynamically adjustable system configures to key parameters such as the vehicle’s speed, stirring angle and transversal acceleration.

Read more details on the systems and technologies that make up the Smart CAB with a free download of the CCC’s Brochure at www.oemoffhighway.com/20994871.