Thursday, March 31, 2016

WABCO prez: Connected systems create "cocoon of safety"

WABCO Americas President Jon Morrison says the company's line of air disc brakes and connected safety systems like collision mitigation and advanced lane departure warnings will work together to create a "cocoon of safety" around drivers.

"We're providing a 360-degree cocoon around the truck and driver to allow drivers to operate as safely as they can," Morrison said during a press conference Thursday morning at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Ky.

Morrison's remarks were made at a press briefing that coincided with the opening of MATS. The company, which is known as Meritor WABCO in North America, is a global supplier of technologies and services aimed at improving safety, efficiency and connectivity in commercial vehicles.

The company unveiled a new layer of said cocoon with its next generation of OnLane lane-departure warning systems, which now includes a new, high-resolution camera integrated with SmartDrive, a video-based performance management system.

Morrison said the integration of OnLane's cameras with SmartDrive's driver performance management system  which incorporates video recording and near real-time analysis to help improve safety via driver coaching  is a first for the industry.

The new OnLane camera combines both lane marking detection and video streaming, as well as a lane-tracking algorithm designed to improve lane marking detection, eliminating the need for two forward-looking cameras on vehicles.

"WABCO's OnLane demonstrates the powerful connectivity of comprehensive real-time data gathered from our advanced monitoring, control and braking systems and SmartDrive's in-depth video analytics of driver behavior," Morrison said. "Vehicle fleet owners gain access to a powerful new tool to help advance the safety and efficiency performance of their drivers and vehicles."

While the company noted the systems are popular with large fleets, Morrison said he was unable to provide an exact amount of the number of systems sold to owner-operators.

The new system represents the first product integration to come out of the company's $20 million investment in California-based SmartDrive Systems, a collaboration that was announced at MATS last year.

During the briefing, Morrison highlighted WABCO's OnGuard Active collision mitigation system, which the company says is now in over 100,000 trucks and more than 200 fleets in North America.

In addition to the hardware and safety systems, Morrison provided an update on the company's long-term investment strategies, which included a partnership with Cummins Inc.