Experienced drivers are benefiting from more widespread ADAS adoption: With fully-autonomous trucks, years are no more. Level 1 and Level 2 driver assistance systems are helping experienced commercial drivers be even safer in the U.S. It is really happy to use the evolving technologies in trucking.
You may see the genuinely autonomous truck network carrying freight to various cities in a few years. On the recent Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) virtual safety summit, the trucking industry leaders are discussed about the more fleets adopt lower-level driver assistance technology which is going to help in the U.S. highways safety.
The highly updated technologies are already giving a return on investment for fleets such as J.B. Hunt, which has forward-collision warning systems on 98% of its vehicles, according to Greer Woodruff, the carrier’s senior vice president of safety. He announced that rear-end crashes are down 50%. He said thanks to the technology that J.B. Hunt started deploying in 2011.
Advanced Technologies for Future Trucking
“We’re seeing reductions in the severity of crashes if we’re not able to fully avoid them,” Woodruff said of the J.B. Hunt fleet, which is the fifth-largest for-hire carrier in the U.S. “We’re seeing a reduction in severity reduced liability expenses, reduced equipment downtime, increased driver retention. We’re increasingly seeing drivers wanting or expecting to have equipment with these types of modern features on them. We’ve seen great driver acceptance, which is one of the requirements for us to deploy this type of technology.”
Advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) technology still needs a good driver, Woodruff added. “But the technologies can help a good driver be an even better driver.”
Forward-facing cameras also loved by many drivers. “The drivers have responded well to the benefits of instant replay that these can provide,” Woodruff said. “I think of it like a professional athlete that’s always reviewing game film, and trying to perfect their technique so that they develop their skills and refine themselves.”
These cameras helping the fleet managers to understand the reasons for crashes along with providing evidence. “In the past, we had difficulty knowing what really happened,” Woodruff said. “And so we’ve got some clarity there and it’s benefited our drivers in a number of different cases.”
J.B. Hunt is working on adding more Level 2 autonomous technologies to its trucks. Lane-keeping assists which helps the steer the truck into the center of the lane if it starts to drift.
“We think this is going to help reduce lane-change accidents, sideswipes, right turn accidents,” he said. “We think the reductions in those accidents and their related costs will be sufficient to cover the cost of those additional features.”
The main goal of advanced safety technology is to help drivers. “It’s a lot different for the commercial driver than a normal passenger car driver,” Beyer explained. “Because you have somebody that’s sitting in a cab 10 hours a day, driving 100,000, 150,000 miles a year. It’s a much different environment. The systems are much more valuable to the commercial driver because of the amount of time that they’re up in the cab.”
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