Serious accidents involving large commercial trucks can have deadly consequences on the highways of Florida. Unfortunately, a great number of these collisions occur when tractor-trailer drivers are given insufficient time to apply their brakes or take evasive action when confronted with an emergency situation. Many modern passenger vehicles have sophisticated electronic accident avoidance systems that take autonomous control in this type of situation. On June 28, the CEO of German truck component supplier the ZF Group said that a similar system will be available for semi-tractor trailers within four years.
The Evasive Maneuver Assist system is the result of a collaborative effort between ZF and WABCO Vehicle Control Systems. The autonomous system uses ZF’s ReAX electrohydraulic braking components and WABCO’s tried and tested OnGuard active braking technology. The system relies on radar and sensors to monitor road conditions and springs into action when a collision seems imminent.
The technology, which makes decisions far more quickly than the human brain, is designed primarily to prevent truck accidents by steering safely around disabled vehicles, slow moving traffic or other obstructions. When the system’s radar and sensor array detects guardrails, barriers or vehicles in adjacent lanes, the truck’s brakes will be applied fully as the technology shifts its focus from avoiding an accident to limiting the severity of the impact.
While autonomous technology that may save lives by preventing collisions should be applauded, truck drivers will still need to maintain a focus on safe driving. Autonomous vehicle technology like the Evasive Maneuver Assist system generally records vital data such as traffic conditions and vehicle speed, and this information could be valuable to personal injury attorneys seeking civil remedies on behalf of individuals injured in truck accidents.