UPS has announced that it is equipping more than 5,700 of its existing Class 8 tractors with advanced collision mitigation technology that can alert drivers to moving and stationary objects around the vehicle.
This will result in more than 60% of UPS’s Class 8 tractor fleet, more than 11,000 vehicles, being equipped with collision mitigation technology. Every new Class 8 tractor that UPS has purchased since 2015 includes the technology, which provides blind spot warnings, lane departure warnings, electronic stability control, and forward collision warning with automatic brake application.
“UPS has some of the safest drivers on the road, and some of our best drivers have told us that collision mitigation systems help make them even better drivers,” said Carlton Rose, president of global fleet maintenance and engineering for UPS. “This investment is indicative of UPS’s commitment to the safety of our employees, their families, our customers and the motoring public.”
The retrofitted collision mitigation systems will supplement each vehicles’ current safety technology package by adding features including adaptive cruise control, which helps the driver maintain a constant distance behind the vehicle in front of the UPS tractor.
With the adaptive cruise control turned on, the UPS tractor will automatically slow to help the driver mitigate a collision. Secondary benefits can include reducing the "accordion effect" caused by traffic and improving fuel economy. The UPS tractors that will receive the new systems were selected based on the collision mitigation system’s compatibility with the vehicles’ powertrain and existing safety systems.
“Driving conditions can change quickly,” said Dale Brenaman, a UPS driver, who won the 2017 Kentucky State Truck Driving Championship and placed third in the 2017 National Truck Driving Championship for precision driving. “Collision mitigation technology is like an extra set of eyes that helps you make decisions more quickly, especially when you’re driving in rain or fog.”