Efficient, connected, autonomous
The commercial vehicle industry long since shifted up a gear on the subject of automated and connected driving. Many things will change for truck drivers and other road users – for the better. At the IAA Commercial Vehicles 2018 you can see how manufacturers and suppliers are driving forward the evolution of mobility.
Nowadays things just wouldn’t work without assistants in the vehicle. Electronic helpers such as the turning and emergency brake assist with pedestrian detection, night vision systems and voice control, fatigue detection, cruise control and ESP are becoming increasingly important. And not only in cars – they are also becoming more common in the driver’s cabs of modern commercial vehicles. OEMs such as Mercedes-Benz, DAF, Iveco, Volvo, the Volkswagen Group’s subsidiaries MAN and Scania, and suppliers such as Knorr-Bremse, Wabco, Bosch, ZF and Continental present at ever shorter intervals new developments in networked, driver-assistance and automated systems for trucks, vans and buses. The IAA Commercial Vehicles 2018 offers visitors an overview of what is already available today and what will make road traffic even safer and more economical in the near future.
Systems can save lives
In addition to the electronic assistants prescribed by the EU, such as an emergency braking or lane-keeping assist for commercial vehicles weighing 3.5 t or more, OEMs and suppliers are working on new systems as well as optimizing existing features. In particular, the combination of camera and radar-based systems, for example, and the integration of additional data will most importantly result in greater safety for all road users. For example, experts estimate that turn-off assistants detecting people and objects in the blind spot can greatly reduce the number of truck accidents involving pedestrians and cyclists. The systems use visual and acoustic signals to warn the driver in particular in complex urban traffic situations.
Platooning improves efficiency
The use of networked, assistance or automated systems not only makes driving safer, but also brings economic benefits. At the IAA Commercial Vehicles 2018, the logistics sector will be especially interested in platooning – meaning that several trucks connect electronically to form a convoy in order to exchange information about the driving situation in real time. The convoy is thus able to synchronize maneuvers such as accelerating and braking. This allows the trucks to drive safely close together (e.g. 10 to 15 meters apart, compared to the 50 meters between vehicles required by the traffic regulations in Germany). The advantages are that several vehicles travel close together, which decreases the air resistance. That in turn reduces fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. The technical basis for platooning has now been laid and will gradually become established in the vehicles on the roads. And the more vehicles that at some time have this technology, then more effective platooning will be at optimizing freight traffic. In view of the rising competition and cost pressure, the increased efficiency resulting from electronically connected convoys is very attractive to forwarders and logistics firms, and will be one of the key topics at the IAA Commercial Vehicles in Hannover.
From driver to transport manager
The rising number of assistants will also alter everyday working life on the road. Those who will soon be able to take their hands off the steering wheel for long stretches can do other things instead, e.g. planning tours or processing new transport orders. That will reduce daily working time, which in turn is good for health. However, truck drivers will still be needed in the future, even if at some stage fully automated trucks appear on our roads. This is because driving in towns and cities will still require careful and expert decision-making by an experienced driver.
Discover the latest features in automated driving and driver-assist systems for commercial vehicles at the IAA Commercial Vehicles in Hannover from September 20 to 27, 2018. And at the New Mobility World LIVE you can experience them in use.