The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

New Cruise Control System With Active Braking Introduced

February 07, 2008

ORLANDO, Fla. --- Meritor WABCO Vehicle Control Systems has introduced OnGuard, a radar-based adaptive cruise control system with active braking for commercial vehicles in North America.

OnGuard, a technology designed to further improve commercial vehicle safety, is now installed on nearly 200 vehicles and is targeted for third quarter 2008 availability as a factory-installed option at several OEM brands.

Active braking improves vehicle safety by automatically using the vehicle foundation brakes to alert the driver and decelerate the vehicle when a pre-set vehicle following distance is compromised.

"As part of our ongoing efforts to improve vehicle safety for highways, drivers and fleets, OnGuard was designed to equip drivers with automated features that help ensure safe following distances and provide active braking as needed," said Jon Morrison, president and general manager of Meritor WABCO Vehicle Control Systems. "The driver is still the most important element in maintaining vehicle safety. However, the system can provide the additional split-second deceleration needed to maintain control of the vehicle in an emergency situation."

Automatic foundation brake intervention distinguishes OnGuard from existing passive collision warning systems, which can only alert the driver to a potentially dangerous situation through alarm and engine braking. With this new product on the truck, if the pre-determined "safe" distance is compromised, OnGuard will provide visual and audible warning to the driver, vehicle deceleration through engine control, retarder control and most importantly, noticeable foundation braking. Foundation brake deceleration can be as great as one-third of a full brake application for the vehicle but within safe limits for the driver to take control.

Moreover, OnGuard fully integrates with the joint venture's anti-lock braking and stability control systems. Morrison added that this allows the customer to build a pyramid of safety for the vehicle with stability control and collision safety system via a single brake ABS ECU versus having additional "add-on" systems.

According to the U.S. National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, rear-end collisions account for over 20 percent of all heavy-truck crashes. The truck is the striking vehicle in 60 percent of those accidents. Inattention or poor decisions (e.g. driving too fast for the conditions or following too closely) is the primary factor in 66 percent of the collisions where fault is assigned to the truck driver.

OnGuard's mono-pulse radar sensor can detect multiple moving and fixed objects at distances up to 500 feet away. It quickly and reliably coordinates responses from the engine, transmission and anti-lock braking systems through communications across the SAE J1939 data network. It provides feedback to the driver through the in-cab dash display, which includes a progressive audible alert.

This sequence of monitoring, warning and intervention is an important part of Meritor WABCO's strategy to reduce false alarms. OnGuard uses a proprietary time-to-collision algorithm, unlike the simple two-second headway alarms used by today's passive braking systems. Driver feedback from field tests covering over 10 million fleet miles over a two-year period showed significantly better performance, reliability and driver confidence in OnGuard compared to collision warning systems currently available in North America, Meritor WABCO Vehicle Control Systems said.


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