ATLANTA, Ga. — Meritor WABCO Vehicle Control Systems has provided fleet managers and government officials with a demonstration of the “latest collision-safety technology” for commercial trucks and trailers at a recent ride-and-drive event.
The program, part of a series of six annual demonstrations Meritor WABCO is holding throughout the US, attracted more than 90 fleets and special guests, the company reported.
“For most participants, this is their first experience with active safety systems,” said Jon Morrison, president of Meritor WABCO. “The fleets want to see how intuitive these products are to use, and whether they will be effective at improving safety and security.”
Meritor WABCO develops a range of commercial vehicle controls, including stability controls systems for trucks and trailers, and OnGuard – which is designed to detect objects in the vehicle’s path and manage the distance between them. The company states that both systems can automatically intervene to slow the vehicle to reduce the likelihood of a rear-end collision or loss of stability, which allows the driver time to maintain control and apply additional braking force as needed.
Stability control and the OnGuard collision safety systems are building blocks in Meritor WABCO’s “Pyramid of Safety,” stated the company. They are extensions of the ABS electronic control unit and use software and sensors to coordinate object detection, braking, and throttle adjustment, minimizing the need for additional hardware.
“The driver is the most important factor in the safety equation,” said Alan Korn, director of engineering at Meritor WABCO. “At that split-second when a dangerous situation starts to arise, the system can give the driver the time he needs to react. These demonstrations give people the chance to see for themselves what that experience is like.”
Guests at the Atlanta event included John H. Hill, administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Hill has publicly voiced his support for advanced vehicle control technologies.
The FMCSA’s goal is to reduce the number and severity of crashes, injuries, and fatalities involving large trucks and buses. Recent research focuses on the role that drivers play in collisions; according to the FMCSA, driver action or inaction is the “critical reason” for 87% of crashes where the cause was attributed to the commercial vehicle.
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