Freightliner Trucks, Meritor WABCO offer Collision Safety System

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Freightliner Trucks, in conjunction with Meritor WABCO, announced Monday, Aug. 18, the availability of the OnGuard Collision Safety System for select Cascadia and Century Class S/T fleets. Developed by Meritor WABCO, OnGuard is a forward-looking radar-based adaptive cruise control system with active braking for commercial vehicles.

New to the North American market, 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. The system, described as an industry-first technology, was introduced in early 2008 and is designed to improve commercial vehicle safety.

“Any advanced safety feature we can make available on our vehicles is one more step toward improving overall driver performance and safety,” says Christoph Hofmann, director of product strategy for Portland, Ore.-based Freightliner Trucks.

Freightliner Trucks says it prepped select vehicles for the OnGuard system that applies the foundation brakes in adaptive cruise control mode; in this mode, automatic foundation brake control distinguishes OnGuard from existing systems, which alert the driver to a potentially dangerous situation through alarms, as well as engine control.

With adaptive cruise control activated, if the predetermined “safe” distance is compromised, OnGuard immediately will provide visual and audible warnings to the driver, vehicle deceleration through engine control, retarder control and, most important, foundation braking, according to the companies; foundation brake deceleration can be greater than or up to one-third of a full brake application for the vehicle but within safe limits for the driver to take control.

“In cruise control mode, the automatic application of the foundation brakes when a threat is detected by OnGuard is what excited us about this technology,” says Ben Smith, on-highway product strategy manager for Freightliner Trucks.

OnGuard’s forward-looking mono-pulse radar sensor is capable of detecting multiple moving objects at distances up to 500 feet away, Meritor WABCO says; it quickly 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. The OnGuard system already has been installed on more than 500 vehicles and has orders for an additional 400 units.