The new heavy-duty trucks Hino Trucks North America will bring to the U.S. market next year will be equipped with braking control technology and advanced driver assistance systems from Wabco Holdings Inc., the companies said Thursday.
Hino’s new XL Series of Class 7 and 8 heavy-duty trucks begin production in 2019. They will be the latest example of new truck makers rapidly adopting high-tech safety equipment.
The Wabco safety features include a radar-based collision mitigation system that uses sound, vibration and visual cues to help drivers see and respond to potential crashes in bad traffic or weather conditions. If the driver does nothing, the system can apply the brakes and stop the truck.
Another feature is camera-based lane departure warning that activates if a truck crosses a lane marking without a turn signal. Lane drift is the most frequent cause of truck crashes.
The safety suite also includes brake control technology that enables anti-lock braking and electronic stability control, which can correct for oversteer and understeer conditions.
Wabco declined to provide a dollar value of its “strategic partnership” with the Toyota Motor Corp. division.
“Avoiding collisions, even minor ones, can be a huge cost savings,” said Sam Abuelsamid, senior analyst with Navigant Research in Ann Arbor, Mich. “There is definitely a growing market for advanced safety among fleet operators of trucks.”
Trucking spends $9.5 billion a year on safety, most of it for driver training, according to the American Trucking Associations.
More adoption of safety technology helps heavy-duty trucks save fuel, said Mike Roeth, executive director of the North American Council for Fuel Efficiency.
“Safety equipment helps the truck driver smoother,” Roeth said. “It takes a lot of fuel to bring a loaded truck back up to speed after hard braking.”
He said more use of advanced safety equipment could lead to fuel-saving truck platooning happening sooner. Platooning technology digitally links two or more trucks so that they can follow closely to reduce drag and increase fuel economy. It requires digitally connected braking systems.
“The safety equipment is already there,” Roeth said. “Why not help pay for it by platooning the trucks if conditions will allow it?”