On June 28, global commercial vehicle parts suppliers WABCO and ZF revealed the new Evasive Maneuver Assist system, which does more than activate the braking systems in tractor-trailer trucks. North Carolina motorists might be thrilled to hear that it autonomously steers the trucks around stopped vehicles when it detects that just braking is insufficient to prevent an accident.
The EMA system combines OnGuard, the active braking system from WABCO, with ReAx, the electrohydraulic steering system from ZF. Truck companies have been using OnGuard in the United States for many years. The merged system utilizes sensory data, including radar, to identify stopped vehicles ahead. It gives truck drivers audio, tactile and visual signals when it detects the potential for a rear-end crash.
When truck drivers are unable to react fast enough, the EMA system uses an analysis of road conditions and stopping distance to determine whether the automated braking system can stop in time. If it cannot, the system takes over the steering controls to maneuver around stopped vehicles. The system applies the brakes as hard as possible to mitigate the impact or avoid an accident when adjacent lanes are occupied or there is no shoulder. However, the truck drivers have the ability to override the system by taking over the brakes, steering wheel or throttle. The chief executive officer of ZF says that it should be ready for launch in three or four years.
The injuries that result from crashes involving commercial vehicles are often serious because of the sheer size of the big rigs. Spinal and traumatic brain injuries are common and can lead to emotional, financial and physical distress for the victims. If it can be determined that the collision was due to a truck driver who was impaired, distracted or negligent in another manner, legal counsel could assist an injured client in seeking compensation for medical expenses and other losses.