NTSB Hails UPS Move on Collision Avoidance Technology

More than 2,600 new class 8 tractors the company is buying this year will be equipped with CAS, which NTSB has trumpeted as an important safety advancement.

Jana Price, Ph.D., chief of the Report Development Division in NTSB's Office of Highway Safety, posted on the agency's website an article thanking UPS for its July 22 announcement that the company will make collision avoidance systems standard equipment on all new class 8 tractors it orders, including the more than 2,600 new tractors it will acquire this year. Class 8 vehicles have a gross vehicle weight rating over 33,000 pounds, such as most tractor-trailers and dump trucks—typically vehicles with three or more axles.

UPS cited NTSB's Special Investigation Report, "The Use of Forward Collision Avoidance Systems to Prevent and Mitigate Rear-End Crashes," which discussed how more than 80 percent of deaths and injuries from rear-end crashes might have been prevented if the vehicles were equipped with a CAS.

Price wrote that Walmart, Conway, and Quickway Transportation have their entire fleets equipped with CAS or are buying truck-tractors with the latest generation of forward CAS, which "works by monitoring the environment with lidar (light detection and ranging), radar, camera, or a fusion of different technologies—for potential conflicts, such as a slow moving or stopped vehicle. When it detects a conflict, it alerts a driver through different warning cues. If the conflict persists, the system initiates AEB or provides additional braking force if the driver does not brake strongly enough."

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