Active four-wheel steering isn't a new idea. In fact, just about every Japanese automaker dabbled with it in the late 80's to early 90's. It isn't even a new idea for pickups either, when General Motors (GM) tried it out in the 2000's.
Likely due to cost, complexity, or limited by the technologies at the time, active four-wheel steering hasn't exactly been popular in the mainstream. However, it's been over 30 years since this tech has been introduced, and some German automakers are adapting it again. But then there's ZF, who want to reintroduce it to pickup trucks.
This time around they are reviving GM's idea of making pickup trucks even more maneuverable. To further highlight the advantages and benefits of putting this system in these sort of vehicles, ZF fitted one on a Ford F-150; a four-door SuperCrew to be exact.
Just to emphasize how huge this pickup is, it's about six meters long and over two meters wide. Despite its gargantuan size, ZF claims that it will be as maneuverable as compact car, which they demonstrated in the video shown.
Helping the full-sized F-150 make tight turns is ZF's system that allows the rear wheels to turn by up to 12 degrees. It may not sound like much but the clip shows how the big truck drove around the tight course with ease. You can even see how much the rear wheels are turned and those wheels steer opposite of the front at low speeds.
However, once speeds approximately reach 60 km/h, the system then follows the same direction of the front wheels. ZF claims that this setup will not only make the vehicle more agile at higher speeds, it also makes it more stable as well, a welcome addition to high-riding trucks that weigh well over 2,000 kilograms.