Innovative technology helps trucks avoid rear-end collisions

California truck drivers as well as occupants of other vehicles may be safer on the roadways, thanks to a new technology that will help trucks evade rear-end crashes. Known as the Evasive Maneuver Assist system, it will make it possible for large trucks to detect and avoid smashing into the back of a stopped vehicle.

The manufacturers of the EMA system are global truck components suppliers WABCO and ZF. The system was created through a combination of ZF's electrohydraulic ReAx steering system and WABCO's OnGuard active braking system. Both companies stated that the EMA active steering system is another step towards the advancement of autonomous vehicles. The system is expected to be in operation by around 2020, according to ZF's CEO.

The EMA active steering system works by using sensory data to identify a vehicle which is stopped somewhere ahead of the truck. As the truck nears the stopped vehicle, the system will notify the driver through haptic, audio and visual signals if it detects that a rear-end crash is about to occur. If the truck driver fails to take swift action to prevent the collision, or if the system detects the truck is unable to stop in time because of poor road conditions or distance, the EMA system will automatically take over to thwart the accident by steering the truck around the vehicle or by applying the brakes.

While it is possible that new tehcnology could reduce the amount of rear-end collisions, other 18-wheeler accidents will continue to occur. When they are caused by a truck driver who is distracted, impaired or otherwise negligent, an injured victim might want to have the help of a lawyer in seeking compensation from the at-fault driver and, where applicable, the driver's employer.

Source: Overdrive Online, "New collision mitigation system can take over truck's steering to evade rear-end crashes", James Jaillet, June 29, 2016

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