New Study Shows Benefits of Collision Mitigation Systems to Improve Commercial Fleet Safety

Using Meritor WABCO's OnGuard Collision Mitigation System for its study, the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute verified the safety improvements this type of technology can offer commercial vehicle fleets.

A study conducted by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) and published by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) verifies the significant benefits of forward collision avoidance and mitigation technology installed on tractor-semitrailers and single unit trucks. Using Meritor WABCO’s OnGuard Collision Mitigation System (CMS) for the study, UMTRI developed models to review and test a system currently operating in the field in addition to future technology. Based on this analysis, UMTRI also forecasted estimates of the safety benefits for future-generation systems.

In the study, analysis of actual fleet data shows that the installation of OnGuard Collision Mitigation System significantly reduces the probability of rear-end striking crashes in realistic operating conditions. Combined results for tractor-trailers and straight trucks include the following highlights:

  • For the current-generation CMS in volume production, an estimated 24% of fatalities and 23% of injuries could be eliminated.
  • Next-generation CMS could achieve an estimated reduction of 44% in fatalities and 46% in injuries.
  • Future-generation CMS could generate an estimated reduction of 57% in fatalities and 56% in injuries.
  • Assuming CMS usage across all straight truck and tractor-semitrailers, the combined economic savings, including property damage, was estimated to be around $1.4 billion for current technology, $2.6 billion for next-generation and $3.1 billion for future-generation systems.
  • A comparison of a fleet with and without collision mitigation technology, showed tractor-semitrailers without CMS were up to 2.26 times more likely to be the striking vehicle in a rear-end crash than trucks with the system.
  • The estimated benefits attributed to the next-generation CMS relative to the current-generation system is an 89% improvement, largely attributed to the ability of the next-generation system to react to stationary vehicles.

“These are clearly significant results that further affirm the extensive benefits of CMS technology, which was pioneered by Meritor WABCO in North America. Furthermore, the study underscores the additional benefits of recent OnGuard system improvements and our near-term technology enhancements,” says Jon Morrison, President and General Manager, Meritor WABCO. “Commercial vehicle fleets recognize the critical necessity for cost-effective safety technology that accounts for the needs of the fleet, the driver and the public. NHTSA’s proactive approach to provide substantive data to support informed decisions on safety technologies, including CMS, is highly beneficial for the industry.”

Today, Meritor WABCO’s industry-leading OnGuard Collision Mitigation System includes:

  • Auto alignment capability that assures faster and easier installation, eliminating the need for periodic, manual adjustments usually associated with normal operating conditions.
  • The industry’s most advanced 77 GH radar system, able to provide the longest, widest detection range with the greatest accuracy.
  • Stationary-object warning that reliably provides critical warning signals to the driver when approaching stationary vehicles, while minimizing the occurrence of non-essential warnings from other, non-threatening objects.
  • Evasive-maneuver check capability provided by the new long- and mid-range detection radar technology.
  • Pioneering haptic warning capability.
  • A platform that will enable braking on detection of stationary objects without the need to install a camera or additional hardware.

The next generation of OnGuard, which includes partial braking capability on detection of stationary objects, will be in production by WABCO in January 2014 in Europe, followed by a North American introduction mid 2014 by Meritor WABCO.

Meritor WABCO’s enduring relationships with our customers and their drivers are based on our ability to meet their safety and economic requirements with robust technology that delivers outstanding performance,” adds Morrison. “OnGuard’s latest functionality, including the ability to brake the vehicle when encountering a stationary object, is another major advancement in commercial vehicle safety that is backed by Meritor WABCO’s assurance as the industry leader in CMS.”

“UMTRI deserves accolades for devising a unique simulation method that enables the objective assessment of the benefits of collision mitigation systems from the perspective of both avoiding and mitigating crash severity,” Morrison says. “We also commend NHTSA for their leadership in addressing crash avoidance technologies.”