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September 13, 2021 12:00 AM, EDT

ZF Touts Safety, Intelligence Systems

ZF TailGuardTailGUARD is ZF’s collision avoidance system for when a vehicle is reversing, and has automatic braking. (ZF)

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CLEVELAND — ZF Group displayed a suite of safety and intelligence systems for trucks and trailers as it moves toward its goal of becoming the leading commercial vehicle supplier.

The German company, whose ZF North America Inc. operations are headquartered in Northville, Mich., announced the products at a press conference Sept. 12 during American Trucking Associations’ 2021 Technology & Maintenance Council Fall Meeting & Transportation Technology Exhibition here.

“In the mobility experience, everything is evolving very rapidly. And the drive for increased autonomy, electrification and connectivity is going to accelerate,” said Julien Plenchette, vice president of the Americas Commercial Vehicle Division of ZF Group.

The new commercial vehicle division combines ZF’s commercial vehicle technology and commercial vehicle control systems divisions with an expected start date of Jan. 1. The control systems division was created from assets acquired via ZF’s purchase of Wabco Holdings. That $7.1 billion deal was announced in March 2019 and closed in May 2020.

Julien Plenchette


ZF highlighted the following technologies, intended to offer 360 degrees of safety, at the TMC event:

• OnGuardMAX is designed to warn the driver of imminent collisions and, if necessary, can autonomously bring the vehicle to a complete stop. It uses data integration with camera and radar sensors to detect, classify and react to moving and stationary vehicles and objects. Other features include lane departure warning, road departure braking, traffic sign recognition and safety distance support. When paired with next-generation braking systems, OnGuardMAX can enable adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go. OnGuardMAX will go into series production with an unspecified North American customer in 2022.

• OnSideALERT is a radar-based, blind-spot detection system that supports drivers merging into adjacent lanes by checking them for clearance and is applicable to both the driver and passenger sides of the vehicle. The advanced driver-assistance system enables coverage of the entire side of a standard Class 8 truck and 53-foot trailer and is designed to address side collisions and helps to prevent or mitigate truck crashes by alerting drivers of moving vehicles in the blind spot at speeds of 15 mph and above.

• ZF’s ReAX steering system is designed to adapt to signals from the vehicle and analyzes driver input to provide smoother, more precise steering, helping to improve performance and reduce driver fatigue, according to the company. In addition, intelligent, assisted steering designed for commercial vehicles is the foundation for increasing levels of automated driving and further integration with other ZF products, like OnGuardMAX. ReAX entered series production in July 2021 and will launch with OnTraX lane keep assist with a major North American truck maker in fall 2021 as an option.

• TailGUARD is a collision avoidance system for when a vehicle is reversing, and has automatic braking. The system is designed to detect small, large, static and moving objects in the blind spot behind the vehicle, automatically stopping the vehicle at a safe distance and helping to prevent collisions. When reversing, sensors monitor about 6 feet behind the vehicle and trigger vehicle brakes automatically if the brake is not applied at two feet from an object. “TailGUARD is available now in trailers and will be available in the near future for medium-duty commercial vehicles,” said Dan Williams, director of ADAS and autonomy for the commercial vehicle divisions at ZF Group.

• TrailerCAST provides fleet intelligence on the status of the trailer through telematics. Powered by ZF cloud connectivity, TrailerCAST enables GPS position tracking and critical issue alerts. It also supports fleets with optimized planning of maintenance cycles. First introduced in North America in 2020, TrailerCAST is now available with TrailerFIT a diagnostics-oriented back office platform that can also accept information from other components on a trailer such as tires and suspensions.

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