Takata: Study backs SafeTrak Lane Departure warning system

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Updated Oct 15, 2010

The University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute and Takata Corp. have announced the results of a yearlong field test of an integrated system of crash warning technologies designed to enhance the safety of the commercial trucking industry. Takata says its SafeTrak Lane Departure system was used exclusively throughout testing, and that a few significant results from the integrated vehicle-based safety system (IVBSS) study include:
• Thirty-eight percent (38 percent) of drivers reported that the integrated warning systems prevented them from potentially having a crash; and
• Eighty-three percent (83 percent) of drivers would prefer a truck equipped with the integrated warning systems and would recommend their carrier purchase the system.

In terms of satisfaction, drivers rated warnings for lane departures the highest, and overall usefulness of lane departure warning second.

Takata says its SafeTrak integrated crash warning system used in the study had a statistically significant effect, helping drivers maintain lane positions closer to the center. Overall, drivers responded the warning systems would increase driver safety, making them more aware of the traffic environment around their vehicle and their position in the lane, according to the company.

Takata says that its SafeTrak system used exclusively in the study yielded extremely positive safety results. In addition to being used on the commercial truck portion of the study, the Takata SafeTrak system also was used in the passenger car portion of the study. The UMTRI-led IVBSS program funding was provided by the Research and Innovative Technology Administration Intelligent Transportation Systems Joint Program Office of the U.S. Department of Transportation.

“Partnering with Takata, a company dedicated to automotive safety technology, was a very positive experience for UMTRI,” says Jim Sayer, UMTRI associate research scientist. “The SafeTrak Lane Departure Warning technology contributed significantly to improved driver’s road awareness, helping to keep drivers within their lane.”

The Takata SafeTrak system, currently available to the commercial trucking industry, is designed to help drivers better prepare for their long-haul trips and react to their real-time driving performance. “Today’s commercial truck driver faces many distractions while on the road for long hours, including drowsiness,” says Kirk Morris, vice president of product management and business development for Takata Electronics. “The SafeTrak system helps drivers maintain their lanes, know when to stop for rest breaks and measure their on-road driving performance in real time. It is a comprehensive system designed with unique algorithms, and we believe the UMTRI IVBSS study helps prove our SafeTrak system will greatly improve overall road safety for everyone.”

On Oct. 20, DOT will present the full results of the UMTRI IVBSS report during a one-day public meeting at Eagle Crest Conference Center in Ypsilanti, Mich. Additional program partners for the IVBSS commercial-truck research include Con-way Freight, Eaton Corp., International Truck and Engine Corp. and Battelle. For more information or to register for the meeting, go to www.umtri.umich.edu/public/ivbss/.