One of the most exciting and fast-moving aspects of the trucking industry of late has been the advent of advanced safety systems. After decades of passive safety systems such as seatbelts and airbags, which help mitigate the impact of a crash but do nothing to avoid it, we are now seeing some highly effective active safety systems that can actually prevent crashes.
Examples are electronic stability systems, forward-looking radar systems that monitor following distances, lane departure warning systems, etc. These systems are extremely effective and have become more affordable and should continue to come down in price as they’re more widely adopted. Eventually, I suspect we’ll see some or all of these systems mandated, starting with electronic stability, which is well underway of becoming mandatory.
So, what’s next? Diane Hames offered an interesting glimpse into the future of safety at a press event in Las Vegas this week. She refers to it as “interactive safety” – or the ability of a truck’s safety systems to not only keep itself out of accidents, but to also improve the safety of other vehicles with which it shares the road.
It will come in the form of vehicle-to-vehicle communications and other on-board safety systems that can collectively eliminate the most common causes of wrecks.
“We see (interactive safety) as the next level of vehicle integration,” Diane said. “Interactive safety is looking at the truck as part of a network.”
You can read more about her vision for truck safety here.
James Menzies is editor of Truck News magazine. He has been covering the Canadian trucking industry for more than 15 years and holds a CDL. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter at @JamesMenzies. All posts by James Menzies