Vehicle Safety Technologies

There is no doubt that intelligent vehicle safety technologies have made heavy trucks safer than ever before. Two such technologies that have been shown to reduce crashes, injuries and fatalities, and thus help reduce operational costs – are...


A key preventive maintenance measure to keep the Bendix Wingman ACB system functioning properly is to keep the radar clean and free of obstructions, says Andersky. It is recommended that drivers regularly check the radar sensor to ensure that it is free and clear of mud, snow, dirt, ice or other obstructions. The sensor does contain a heating element to help reduce the build-up of ice and snow, but drivers should check at each walk around or stop nevertheless.

If the sensor is blocked, the driver will get a diagnostic trouble code (DTC) and a light will appear on the dash. Any vehicle trouble code that disables vehicle cruise control will also cause a trouble code in Bendix Wingman ACB.

MERITOR WABCO

Meritor Wabco offers several stability control systems:

• Roll Stability Support RSSplus Trailer. The next generation of Meritor Wabco’s roll stability support system, RSSplus helps the driver maintain trailer and overall vehicle stability while integrating ABS, Power Line Carrier (PLC) communications for the transfer of data to an in-cab PLC display and telematics capability for transmitting real-time trailer data to fleet headquarters.

The system simultaneously monitors trailer wheel speed, lateral acceleration and suspension pressure. If the vehicle approaches its rollover threshold, RSSplus automatically applies trailer brakes as needed in order to reduce the risk of rollover and help bring the vehicle under control.

The system’s operating data recorder, which has a built-in odometer, stores such information as RSS activations, ABS activations and number of brake activations.

RSSplus is for aftermarket retrofits on trailers already equipped with Meritor Wabco ABS or a different ABS brand, and is available for air or spring suspension equipped trailers.

• OnGuard Collision Safety Systems. This system incorporates with Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) and Active Braking to assist the driver in maintaining a safe following distance (3.6 seconds). It is also a Collision Mitigation System (CMS) that detects a potential rear-end collision developing ahead and responds by braking as needed to assist the driver in avoiding a collision.

OnGuard uses forward-looking radar sensor technology featuring advanced algorithms to monitor the distance, speed and deceleration of a vehicle ahead. When OnGuard detects that a potential collision is developing, it sends audio and visual warnings through an in-cab dash display so the driver is alerted to take the appropriate corrective action.

If a rear-end collision is developing without the driver taking action to decelerate the vehicle, the system automatically de-throttles the engine and applies the engine and foundation brakes to provide up to 0.35Gs of braking power - equivalent to one-half brake power.

This reaction time reduction can help the driver to either prevent a collision or greatly reduce its impact, say Meritor Wabco officials. They note that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says 90 percent of rear-end accidents caused by delay in driver recognition can be prevented if the driver is able to recognize the situation one second earlier.

• SmartTrac Stability Control Systems. The SmartTrac family of Stability Control Systems integrates active safety systems technologies into a comprehensive suite of products to meet specific operational needs. It includes Anti-Lock Braking Systems, Automatic Traction Control (ATC) and Stability Control Systems for truck, tractor and trailer, officials say.

Meritor Wabco Roll Stability Control is an active vehicle safety system that assists drivers in maintaining control of the vehicle by continually monitoring conditions that can lead to a rollover, and automatically intervenes if a high rollover risk is detected. The system checks and updates the lateral acceleration of the tractor and compares it to a critical threshold at which rollover may occur. It intervenes by reducing engine torque and engaging the engine retarder while automatically applying drive axle and trailer brakes.

The company’s Electronic Stability Control (ESC) combines RSC with the added capability of yaw or rotational control. It can assist the driver in reducing the risk of vehicle instability and the potential for jackknifing and driftout conditions through select braking of the tractor and application of the trailer brakes. If loss of stability is detected, tractor-trailer speed is reduced through engine control and application of the engine brake, tractor and trailer foundation brakes.

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