Wabco showcases next-generation lane departure warning system

by Lou Smyrlis

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Citing connectivity as the better way to create a cocoon of safety around heavy-duty trucks, Wabco showcased the next generation of its OnLane lane departure system with the kick-off press conference here at the Mid-America Trucking Show.

The system has been enhanced with a new high-resolution camera integrated with a SmartDrive video-based driver performance system, which Jon Morrison, Wabco president, Americas, called an industry first.

The lane departure warning system monitors vehicle position with lane markings, alerting the driver via visual, audible or haptic warnings to take corrective action when it detects unintentional lane changes. The new generation of OnLane links to SmartDrive’s driver performance management system, which incorporates video recording and near real-time video analysis. With fleet operators being able to see exactly where a lane departure event took place and have video available of the occurrence identifying areas for driver training becomes that much simpler.

The newest generation of OnLane includes a camera that combines the functionalities of lane marking detection and video streaming. It also delivers improved lane marking recognition due to an intelligent lane tracking algorithm. The newly combined capabilities eliminate the need for two forward-looking cameras previously required to provide the same functionality as the new OnLane. The move also helps with keeping the system within the 18- to 24-month range for return on investment, which Morrison said is key for carriers who turn over their trucks every four years.

Morrison cited a US study from the FMCSA study which projected such safety systems would lead to a 48% reduction in crashes and an annual economic benefit of US$1.2 billion and a benefit to cost ratio of 15:1.

Of course technologies such as the lane departure warnings and driver performance management system when combined with more traditional safety systems such as air disc brakes are providing the foundation for future automated functions on autonomous vehicles.

“You can imagine a world where (heavy-duty) vehicles can stop at 200 feet or less and do so automatically,” said Morrison, pointing to the recent interest in platooning applications. “Better braking is the cornerstone of better safety.”

Air disc brakes provide a 10% improvement in stopping distance and service intervals that are twice as long. Still, they currently have only about 15% market penetration, although Morrison expects that to grow to about 20% within the next few years.

“With any new technology you have several years of low adoption. Once the value proposition is understood, you will see rapid adoption,” Morrison said, adding that Wabco’s air disc brake offering is experiencing 60% year-over-year growth.


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