PANTHER electronics from CAN bus to complex vehicle dynamics control.
"How about we network all this via CAN?" During the development of the third PANTHER generation, which will be launched in 2003, Rudolf Aichinger brings up the automotive bus system. He refers to the increasing number of electronic components in vehicles (controllers, sensors, displays, etc.) and sees how the cable harnesses are growing sky high. The CAN bus provides a remedy; he and his colleagues in engineering have already learned that with the SIMBA airport fire-fighting vehicle and the AT municipal flagship. The technology is being transferred to the PANTHER and more and more electronic features are being implemented.
Diagnosis at the push a button
Even the first PANTHER generation had a control panel for operating the pump and foam proportioning system, as well as electronically controlled throwers. Now, the light towers and power generators, reels or other equipment installed in the vehicle can also be controlled via the Rosenbauer Logic Control System. Since they now constantly transmit their operating status via the CAN bus, a diagnostic tool can be developed to read out the most important parameters at the touch of a button, automatically generate error messages, and be used for maintenance purposes. The vehicles are also equipped with a telematics module and, when activated, send the generated data to a secure service portal via which customers can set up their complete fleet management (Connected Fleet).
Chassis electronics learned
With the development of the first proprietary chassis for the PANTHER, the subject of chassis electronics is also becoming ripe for discussion at Rosenbauer. While the technicians are moving in familiar territory with the digitization of the superstructure and firefighting technology, they are entering completely new territory with the chassis. Driving functions, drive control, displays in the driver's cluster instrument cluster, everything that is automatically purchased as electronics in the series-production chassis must now be programmed and implemented by the engineers themselves.
At the same time, customers are increasingly demanding the use of modern assistance systems in airport firefighting vehicles. More and more of these are available from the third PANTHER generation onwards: Anti-lock braking system (ABS), tire pressure control system, power windows, and subsequently also an airbag system, a digital external fuel gauge and a reversing system with display of dynamic auxiliary lines, to name just a few.
Rosenbauer is also developing its own systems for the PANTHER to increase driving safety and support the driver: An electronic warning system (Driver Warning Device), which measures the vehicle's inclination as well as the axial lateral and longitudinal forces acting on the vehicle and reports to the driver when critical values are reached; a navigation and positioning system with thermal imaging vision support (Driver Enhanced Vision System), which provides accurate information on the approach route to the scene at night or in poor visibility; and an electronic stability control system based on the electronic braking system (EBS), which will subsequently be further developed into a full ESC (Electronic Stability Control) system that actively intervenes when the vehicle is oversteering or understeering. A world premiere in the field of heavy all-wheel drive vehicles.
The high-tech cabin at a glance.
Operation by joystick.
Insight into the instrument cluster.
Display and operator-optimized dashboard.
Back-lighted turret control with extinguishing agent indicator.
Electronic Stability Control
In addition to the design advantages of the PANTHER, the Electronic Stability Control (ESC) provides additional safety during extreme driving maneuvers.