Nikola will make Plus autonomous truck technology standard in 2024

Nikola Corp. will test autonomous driving software from Plus on its battery- and fuel cell-electric trucks later this year and become the first zero-tailpipe-emission truck maker to make it standard in 2024.

Plus requires drivers in the cab as it opens up more autonomous features through its PlusDrive system. It is aiming for driverless operation. But it wants to log 8 billion miles of operation with safety drivers monitoring the technology before removing the driver.

The Plus automated driving approach goes beyond advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) features like lane keeping and automatic emergency braking. It includes lane centering, lane changes, merges and adjusting to stop-and-go traffic. Regenerative braking adds energy back into the battery.

Multiple cameras make up an advanced sensor suite that fuses cameras with short-range radar and lidar. Plus describes the driver’s role as that of a pilot.