Current collision avoidance systems (CAS) do a lot to help reduce accidents. The technology can detect vehicles that are further down the road in your lane and determine if they are slow moving or stationary and provide warnings to the driver. Many systems are also capable of applying breaks in emergency situations. This feature allows for a quicker overall reaction time that makes all the difference in preventing a collision.
Another nice feature some systems offer is adaptive cruise control. With adaptive cruise control, the system will monitor your speed and distance to the vehicle in front of you and slow down to compensate as needed.
What these systems don’t do is actually steer the truck around hazards. Automatically applying the breaks isn’t always enough to completely avoid an accident. Being able to steer around the obstruction is often critical. But while the system allows for a faster reaction in applying the breaks, drivers don’t always have time to adjust their course. Hitting the brakes certainly reduces the severity of the collision, but the collision still happens.
However, it may not be too much longer before your CAS gets a game changing update. Recently, ZF Friedrichshafen AG and Wabco Holdings demonstrated a prototype collision avoidance technology they’re calling “Evasive Maneuver Assist” (EMA). EMA connects the existing braking and stability control systems with an innovative steering solution that can actually steer the truck safely around obstructions. This technology completes the picture of collision avoidance and could make a huge leap forward in safety on the highways. Take a look at this video of EMA in action:
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