Musician Elvis Costello performs a song called “Accidents will happen.” Acknowledging that accidents will happen, the challenge for trailer and truck manufacturers is to find ways of minimising them. Accidents, where one vehicle drives into the rear of another, are extremely common. Truck “collision mitigation” technology is one of the solutions that manufacturers are developing, helped by recent advances in technology.
What is collision mitigation technology?
“Collision mitigation technology” is a collision warning system linked to emergency braking which is available for vehicles now. It uses a camera and radar technology to monitor objects ahead. The system issues a warning if it senses a possible, instantaneous collision. If the driver fails to respond, the collision mitigation system activates the brakes automatically. (source: Volvo)
Collision mitigation technology includes several specialist variants that provide blind spot warnings, lane departure warnings, traffic sign recognition and electronic stability control.
For example, WABCO, leading truck OEM supplier has developed “OnCity,” its urban turning assist collision avoidance system. Using a single sensor and LiDAR (light imaging detection and ranging) technology, the system will alert a driver visually and acoustically to a potential collision, both right before and during a turning manoeuvre. It applies the brake autonomously if the driver has failed to take corrective action. This has been designed especially to protect cyclists and pedestrians in urban areas (source:New Electronics)
Volvo is creating an all-round 360-degree view and scan of a truck and trailer’s surroundings that will eliminate the risk of accidents caused by a limited field of vision. This technology will analyse obstacles on and near the road and set-off automated evasive action to avoid accidents. This is in a test phase, likely to become a reality within the next 10 years. (source: FleetEquipmentMag)
Why is collision mitigation technology interesting?
“Collision mitigation technology” is a particularly hot area for trailer and truck manufacturers, technology companies, governmental organisations, and all road users for several reasons. At a basic level, this technology can contribute dramatically to reducing death and injury on our roads.
In addition, this technology will be important in the adoption of platooning, in which trucks travel in convoys, linked and controlled by short range vehicle to vehicle communications. One truck, usually with a driver on hand to manually override the self-driving system when necessary, leads the convoy, supported by technologies such as “collision mitigation technology”. This enables trucks in the convoy to accelerate or decelerate instantly in unison and remain in close proximity to gain the benefits of platooning including fuel economy, thanks to the reduced air resistance; fewer collisions and longer rest periods for the drivers. (source: New Electronics)
In the longer term, collision mitigation technology will be a vital component of autonomous vehicles including autonomous trucks.
Increasingly mainstream today
The technology is starting to become mainstream. For example, in late 2017, UPS in the USA announced that it is going equip more than 60 percent of its large heavy truck, US class 8 tractor fleet or more than 11,000 vehicles with advanced collision mitigation technology. (source: UPS)
TIP and road safety
TIP can contribute to truck driver road safety by providing your fleet with preventative trailer maintenance on an outsourced basis and through rental or leasing, new trailer models.
Preventative maintenance prevents trailers breaking down, thereby maximising their time delivering orders. Most issues with trailers are maintenance related. They can be prevented in a more cost-effective way prior to travel than discovering an unexpected problem on the road. Any undetected mechanical problems with trailers are potential road safety hazards.
Through trailer rental or leasing, TIP can give you flexible access to new trailer models and the latest safety technology including tyre pressure monitoring systems and telematics.
We prefer to work with our customers on preventative safety measures for their trailers to ensure that their chances of mechanical trailer failure are minimised through smart trailer maintenance. However, we know that accidents will happen.
Through our 84 workshops and fleet of over 179 mobile service units across Europe, we provide a comprehensive repair service for entire fleets, or just one trailer, on a one-off basis or through a contracted outsourced programme. Our specialised trailer mechanics are highly skilled and trained to repair all brands and types of trailers. To deliver their high-quality service our trailer mechanics have access to the latest workshop diagnostic equipment, tools and bodyshop repair facilities as well as a wide array of spare parts for models from the main trailer manufacturers.
As part of giving fleet managers and drivers peace of mind as they deliver across Europe, we operate a 24 hour 365 days per year European roadside assistance service. To find out more about how TIP can help you with truck driver safety and renting/leasing trailers, contact TIP using this form.
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