TMC’s research agenda includes vehicle alignment, braking systems

Axel Reyes/ September 13, 2021/ Investment/ 0 comments

CLEVELAND – The Technology and Maintenance Council of the American Trucking Association announced plans for two upcoming research projects on September 12.

The first project aims to evaluate the results of total integrated vehicle alignment on fuel economy, while the second involves developing criteria for conducting performance demonstrations of at least two prototype electro-mechanical braking systems.

TMC technical director Jack Legler made the announcement at a press conference at the council’s Fall Meeting and Transportation Technology Exhibition. These projects were targeted by an agreement with TMC’s FPInnovations PIT Group, which tests the technology and evaluates their energy efficiency. The engineering group aims to help manufacturers and fleet executives select technologies that reduce costs and environmental impact.

The project relating to electro-mechanical brakes will evaluate if it is operating in accordance with current federal motor vehicle safety standards for air drum or disc braking systems. In particular, TMC’s Future Truck Committee is working on the project.

“Electronic controlled braking systems have many potential advantages, and electro-mechanical braking systems take an extra step by getting rid of air pulse,” Legler said during the conference.

The combination vehicle alignment project will repeat the test protocol of the previous study done by Goodyear tires and rubber company, in particular, the project will examine the connection between tractor-trailer coupling and incorrect alignment between aerodynamic equipment.

Legler noted that TMC is seeking funding to cover the cost of these projects. The council is also looking to donate equipment for the project on the electro-mechanical braking system.

Also during the session, TMC Executive Director Robert Braswell provided updates on the Tech-Celebrate Now initiatives. Tech-Celeret Now is a program of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to accelerate the adoption of the Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS). Launched in partnership with the US Department of Transportation Intelligent Transportation Systems Joint Program Office (ITS JPO), the program team includes the American Transportation Research Institute, ATA, TMC, owner-operator Independent Drivers Association Foundation, and technical organization Noblis.

The Tech-Celeret Now aims to promote the benefits of driver-assistance technology, such as automatic emergency braking systems, and measure the impact of outreach campaigns in terms of ADAS adoption rates and truck accident reduction.

Over the past year, Tech-Celeret Now has developed videos and brochures to provide information about ADAS, including topics such as security and return on investment. The four ADAS videos cover topics such as braking, warning, steering, and monitoring systems. This technology has the potential to reduce or prevent heavy vehicle accidents.

“ADAS technology will reduce the number of these crashes in many ways,” Braswell said.

In addition to saving lives, ADAS has the potential to help fleets save money. Crashes are costly, resulting in increased vehicle and freight losses, injuries and insurance premiums. Although ADAS requires some investment, it can detect hazardous driving behavior, prevent collisions, and reduce the severity of crashes and reduce operating costs.

Braswell said the Tech-Celebrate Now team is also developing a return on investment calculator, through which fleet representatives can add numbers and realize how savings can be made.

Disclaimer: The views, suggestions, and opinions expressed here are the sole responsibility of the experts. No World Technosys journalist was involved in the writing and production of this article.

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