Advanced Driver Assisted Systems, or ADAS technology was front and center at a discussion held by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the National Safety Counsil (NSC) at the end of July. The focus of ADAS technology was to figure out how the systems could make the trucking industry safer, and what will be done with the data gathered by the systems.
ADAS Technology And Safety
The emphasis for 2017 has been on safety in the trucking industry. With projected growth on the rise for shipping companies as a whole, as well as increasingly congested roads, there is a great demand on truck drivers to maintain situational awareness at all times. However, GPS devices, communications, weather alerts, and notifications from other compulsory devices in cabs can greatly hinder driver awareness, despite their intent to make hauls more efficient. For drivers ADAS technology combines driver alerts, radar, sensors, and automatic braking to prevent collisions while on the road. Many fleet owners see the preventive measures of ADAS as an easy return on the initial investment. A reduction in accidents means less money going towards claims, settlements, fines, and insurance rates.
Concerns About ADAS Within The Trucking Community
One of the biggest questions raised during the conference was what will happen with the information gathered by ADAS technology? We live in an age where data is commodity, and while information can be used to make businesses run better, and make the overall experiences for truckers safer, there needs to be transparency about what ADAS is collection, and where it goes. A number of people in the discussion stated whey would have no problems if the information was shared, so long as personal data was left out of the equation.
Closing The Gap
One of the biggest hurdles facing the trucking industry is closing the technology gap that exists between new and veteran drivers. ADAS tech works best when driver know how to use the systems, and how they function. Many truckers feel that having yet another system is simply a potential distraction from keeping their eyes concentrated on the road. Fleet owners look at their budgets and are trying to figure out how much training existing drivers would cost, compared to hiring new drivers who understand ADAS technology. This is countered by the considerably smaller pool of “new” drivers who understand ADAS tech.
Overall the conference helped to bring the trucking industry and national organizations together, so both sides have a better understanding of where the industry needs to be, and possibly allow for agreement on future legislation, without leaving drivers out in the cold.