While autonomous trucks have often been the topic of conversation, the new guy on the block is the “safe truck.” Without even getting into the technological details, the fact is heavy-duty commercial motor vehicles are safer today than they’ve ever been.
Take Volvo as one example. They have gone so far as to create drivetrains that drop down and behind cab interiors in the event of a crash. They also design the cabs to ensure structural integrity isn’t compromised if there is a high impact accident or piece of road debris that might strike the vehicle. But all the innovation isn’t only happening under the hood.
External Safety and Control
The big shift in manufacturing and design lies in the external improvements making their way to heavy-duty commercial vehicle designs. There’s a technological revolution happening in this sector.
Whether you are talking about lane departure warning systems, advanced camera setups or predictive cruise control, these technologies seemed to get more advanced and powerful by the day. The digital age leaves nothing untouched.
As manufacturers test advanced truck designs, collision avoidance systems are finding their way into fleet service. But while these advances are great, is there enough integration among the different players to keep away industry fragmentation?
The result of integration efforts has been the introduction of vehicles that can react faster and assist the operator in an emergency. The next evolution is going to be in vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) systems. These systems will be able to work together at machine-thinking speeds to react to events around them on the road.
Imagine all the vehicles on a road talking to each other and accurately and safely plotting coordinates each and every time. As control over these systems proliferates, it is likely that government intervention will increase, resulting in more regulations. So getting ahead of the game is important.
It is likely that forward collision warning systems and intelligent emergency braking systems will be first up and into the regulatory barrel shot. These systems are already tested and are easy to install and design into current manufacturing methods.
So as you look at the big picture, it should become apparent that the industry is moving in the direction of advanced safety technologies. As the world enters the age of the ‘safe truck’, will you be prepared to capitalize on it?
There’s a strong case to be made – both financially and technologically – for the use of advanced safety technologies. These systems have come a long way in the last decade and fleets must think broadly about how and when to implement these technologies. But what exactly are we looking at?
There are plenty of law firms out there that specialize in finding people they can use to litigate against trucking companies. So ask anyone who defends the fleet, and they will tell you that having advanced safety systems installed on the truck can make a huge difference between how much you may be liable during litigation.
Even in cases where it is the truck driver’s fault, you can save time and expense in the long run by using your data to simplify the process and quickly move to a settlement phase. Turn a drawn-out courtroom battle into a smooth process when you have the safety system information to back you up.
What’s The Return Investment?
Some fleets will want to see a return on investment. Just like other advanced systems, consistent adoption will only improve overall outcomes.
Take the electronic log books as an example. Costs associated with logbook violations fell dramatically after the mandate went into effect.
The fact is, whether or not you are looking at the bottom line, adopting advanced safety systems is good for business. So why wait? Get ahead of the game and up your safety system investment.