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Meritor WABCO introduces new collision avoidance system

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Meritor WABCO has introduced a new collision avoidance system with active braking, that uses radar...


The in-cab display (pictured), will be integrated with the OEM's dash display on production models.
The in-cab display (pictured), will be integrated with the OEM's dash display on production models.

ORLANDO, Fla. — Meritor WABCO has introduced a new collision avoidance system with active braking, that uses radar to detect when a collision is imminent and takes control of the vehicle to safety stop it before a rear-end collision occurs.

The company demonstrated its new OnGuard system in Orlando today. It already has installed the system on nearly 200 trucks and the company plans to roll the system out commercially in the third quarter of 2008 as a factory-installed option with several OEMs.

Meritor WABCO officials say their OnGuard technology is the first collision safety system with active braking available on North American commercial vehicles. Basically, the system alerts drivers when a pre-set following distance is compromised and, if necessary, it will activate the foundation brakes to safely slow the truck down to restore the desired following distance.

“As part of our ongoing efforts to improve vehicle safety for highways, drivers and fleets, OnGuard was designed to equip drivers with automated features that help ensure safe following distances and provide active braking as needed,” said Jon Morrison, president and general manager, Meritor WABCO Vehicle Control Systems. “The driver is still the most important element in maintaining vehicle safety however, the system can provide the additional split-second deceleration needed to maintain control of the vehicle in an emergency situation.”

Other systems on the market alert the driver when an unsafe following distance is established through audible alarms and by activating the engine brake. Meritor WABCO officials announced today their system is the first to also include foundation brake activation. The system also includes an audible alarm, a visual warning and retarder control. The foundation brakes can account for up to one-third of a full brake application.

The OnGuard system was designed to be fully-integrated with Meritor WABCO’s anti-lock braking and stability control systems. Morrison explained this is advantageous because a customer can employ all three safety systems using just one ABS ECU as opposed to having multiple systems, which adds complexity.

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) has said rear-end collisions account for over 20% of all heavy truck crashes. In about 60% of those accidents, the truck is the striking vehicle. Driving too fast for the conditions or following too closely are the most common causes, according to the agency.

Meritor WABCO officials said OnGuard can help mitigate those accidents. The system can detect fixed and moving objects at up to 500 feet away. The system uses an algorithm to calculate the time to collision and then takes action when required. Other systems utilize a less sophisticated formula, Meritor WABCO officials said. So far in field testing the units have racked up more than 10 million fleet miles over a two-year period.


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