Issue: Apr 2009


New Sensor Technology From ZF Electronics In Mercedes E-Class



New solution based on inductive sensor technology

by Nick Palmen

The detection of driver's request for automatic gear selection is supported by an inductive travel sensor from ZF Electronics, the Electronic Components business unit of ZF Friedrichshafen AG. 

The magnet-free sensor can be diagnosed at any time. The unit is easier to assemble and suitable for a variety of applications. Since 2007 already, the new inductive sensors from ZF Electronics have been installed in the automatic model versions of the current Mercedes C-Class. As from February 2009, they ensure maximum reliability at the "man-machine interface" also in the E-Class Sedan: The travel sensor determines which mode the drivers preselect for their automatic transmission (e.g. driving mode "D", parking brake "P", or reverse gear) and transmits the corresponding command to the transmission control unit. 

The realization with inductive sensor technology has several advantages. Assembly is less complicated because the system does not require time-consuming adjustments. In addition, it provides more safety against failure. The sensor array is fully capable of being diagnosed; the sensors can be checked for short circuit, interruption, and plausibility at any time. This makes them so reliable that redundant design is no longer necessary. Since fewer components are used on the circuit board, this also leads to space savings.

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