While many regulations on commercial trucks are usually accompanied with much debate and controversy, there’s one issue that seems to have unanimous consensus among the industry, manufacturers and lawmakers: autonomous emergency braking (AEB) technology.
In September, 10 major automakers agreed to include AEB technology as a standard feature on all new vehicles, while the Department of Transportation and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety urged all other manufacturers to do the same.
“Most crashes involve driver error,” said IIHS President Adrian Lund in a statement on the NHTSA website. “This technology can compensate for the mistakes every driver makes because the system’s on alert, monitoring the road ahead and never getting tired or distracted.”
A number of studies seem to back up the assertion that AEB technology makes roadways safer. The European New Car Assessment Programme published a study that found a 38-percent decrease in the amount of rear-end crashes from the implementation of AEB. Other numbers, including those found in studies released by the IIHS, say that AEB can reduce insurance injury claims by 35 percent.
There are currently no laws calling for the inclusion of such technology on commercial trucks in the U.S., but there is a growing push to make it a requirement. American Trucking Associations President and CEO Bill Graves is among those advocating for AEB technology to become mandatory.
“The experience of our member fleets tells us that automatic emergency braking systems hold tremendous promise,” said Graves in a press release, “and as such we believe manufacturers should make this equipment standard and the federal government should seriously look at issuing regulatory standards.”
Other parts of the world are also looking to collision avoidance technology to help reduce the number of crashes on their roadways. As of November 1, technologies like AEB are mandatory in most new commercial trucks in Europe.
AEB technology, a subset of F-CAM (forward-collision avoidance and mitigation braking), includes forward-looking sensors that determine the imminence of a crash and then apply automated braking if a driver’s actions are insufficient.