Con-Way Transportation, Ann Arbor, Mich., is having high-tech collision avoidance systems installed on more than 600 new Sterling tractors
being delivered over the next few months.)
The 605 new Sterling tractors are part of the less-than-truckload carrier's annual equipment replacement cycle. Con-Way is spending about $1 million on the Eaton Vorad collision avoidance systems.
"We've been following the development of this technology for a number of years," said Doug Stotlar, executive vice president of operations for Con-Way. "The vendor test evidence has shown good reliability and we expect to achieve good results." Con-Way will use the 605 units equipped with the system to see how well they work in the fleet's operating environment. If they perform as expected, collision avoidance systems will be standard on all new over-the-road trucks the company buys.
The system has a set of radar antennas on the front and the side of the tractor. The antennas are connected to an on-board computer that monitors the tractor speed and engine activity and matches that activity to that of vehicles in front and beside the tractor. When the front-mounted antenna detects a faster-than-desired closing rate on a vehicle the computer alerts the driver to the potentially dangerous situation. The side-mounted antenna gives a sound warning to the driver when they detect a vehicle in the "blind spot" on the right hand side of the vehicle.
"The driver is still in control of the tractor, but this system acts as a separate set of eyes and gives the driver notice of a potentially dangerous situation," says Stotlar.