Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) have made our roadways safer over the past decade and will continue to prevent tractor trailer accidents in the years ahead. Driver resistance to change has gone down drastically which in turn has made implementing new ADAS easier for over the road trucking companies. ADAS include a variety of components including blind-spot detection and warning, active radar-enabled forward collision mitigation, active braking and more. Thousands of trucks across the United States have implemented almost all these ADAS.
Years ago, introducing new technology to veteran truck drivers was not an easy task for trucking companies. Professional truck drivers have always been resistant to change, however as they get used to the new technology, understand and incorporate it into their skill set, they realize it helps make them better explains Greg Orr, president of truckload carrier, CFI. With new drivers coming into the industry, advances in technology will just continue to become easier. Orr says he believes younger drivers just entering the field are less concerned about and more amenable to ADAS technology for two reasons. One, they’ve grown up with all manner of apps and technology on their smartphones. Two is not knowing, or being attracted to, the independence that drew many drivers into the business years ago.
As the features of ADAS progress and cover more areas within the truck, the next advancement is aimed toward automated steering assistance. According to Julien Plenchette, vice president for ZF Friedrichshafen’s commercial vehicle business in the Americas, Automated steering assistance is essentially a system that assists with turning the wheel. We can program certain logic into it that controls how much help or torque, or how little, is applied to the wheel to achieve the desired functionality. Plenchette went on to explain the key benefits of automated steering assistance which are smoother, more precise steering and reduced driver fatigue.
New technology in tractor trailers is essential in keeping the roadways safe. For technology advancements to be successful, drivers and technicians need to be properly trained and open minded on these advancements. Updates to trucking technology are constantly in the works. The future as a truck driver looks much different than it did 10 years ago.