The OnGuardMAX and OnSideALERT driver assistance systems developed by ZF will debut on on Nikola hydrogen fuel cell electric truck. The Nikola Tre FCEV is currently available, as Nikola produced 42 units (and sold 35 of them) last year, as declared by the U.S.-based manufacturer not long ago. This is the first application of these driver-assistance technologies on a commercial vehicle produced for the North American market.

OnGuardMAX, ZF’s most advanced automatic emergency braking (AEB) system with autonomous functionality for commercial vehicles, is designed to assist drivers in recognizing and responding to possible dangerous traffic situations. Its sophisticated data integration combined with a high-tech camera and radar suite help the system autonomously detect, classify and react to moving and stationary objects such as: pedestrians, vehicles, motorcycles and bicycles.


ZF’s driver assistance systems mounted on Nikola FCEVs

The system warns the driver of obstructions in the vehicle’s immediate path and, if necessary, can automatically slow the vehicle down or bring it to a full stop. This advanced object detection and autonomous braking capability further enables the new ZF system to help avoid or mitigate accidents involving pedestrians.

On the other hand, ZF’s OnSideALERT is a radar-based blind spot detection (BSD) system that continuously identifies a wide variety of stationary and moving objects in a vehicle’s blind spot. This technology helps prevent or mitigate side collisions.

“We’re pleased to partner with Nikola to integrate these critical safety technologies into their new zero-emission truck and introduce innovative safety technology to the North American marketplace,” explained Dirk Wohltmann, director of engineering, Americas, commercial vehicle solutions, ZF Group. “ZF technologies benefit from decades of continuous improvement and learning, and these technologies not only benefit customers, but the driver and road users. We’re excited to see our technology on the road in the Nikola truck, as well as future vehicles.”

“Safety is of paramount importance to Nikola and our customers, and the ZF products, including the company’s driver-assistance technologies, integrate well into our Class 8 hydrogen fuel cell electric truck platform,” added Pedro Garcia, Global Head of Product Development, Nikola. “Nikola and ZF are recognized pioneers in our respective spheres, and it makes sense to come together to provide the best zero-emissions truck in the market.”


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