Hino’s US operation has announced it will be adding Wabco adaptive cruise control, brake control technology and advanced driver assistance to its trucks from next year.
When and if this technology arrives down under is yet to be confirmed but in the US Hino’s new conventional bonneted XL Series Class 7 and 8 heavy-duty trucks will be offered with it from 2019.
Hino’s Australian line up already offers VSC Vehicle Stability Control, cruise control and ABS anti lock braking, but not adaptive cruise control lane departure and the other safety features the WABCO system will deliver in the USA.
Clearly Hino doesn’t offer the bonneted conventional 600 Series or XL in Australia, however the running gear and systems are apparently part of common architecture. As well as this rumours have been circulation as to whether the bonneted Japanese truck might be under consideration for Australia, although the major impediment at the moment is the lack of a right hand drive version for eh US built trucks.
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 crash situations in bad traffic or weather conditions. If the driver does nothing, the system is capable of applying the brakes and stopping the truck.
Another feature of the Wabco based Hino system will be a camera-based lane departure warning that activates if a truck crosses a lane without a turn signal.
The Wabco safety suite also includes brake control technology that enables anti-lock braking and electronic stability control, which can correct for oversteer and understeer conditions.
“Avoiding collisions, even minor ones, can be a huge cost savings,” said Sam Abuelsamid, senior analyst with Navigant Research in the USA.
“There is definitely a growing market for advanced safety among fleet operators of trucks.”
In the USA trucking spends $US 9.5 billion a year on safety, most of it for driver training, according to the American Trucking Association.
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, It takes a lot of fuel to bring a loaded truck back up to speed after hard braking,” Roeth said.
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?”