Take a hands-off approach
Next-level tech may enable drivers to relax and take their eyes off the road in heavy, slow-moving traffic
TRUCK drivers would be able to watch movies and check their emails in heavy traffic if Scania has its way.
The Swedish company and its owner, Volkswagen Group, have revealed what is called Traffic Jam Pilot to take control of the rig in heavy traffic.
Scania says it is part of a research project and has not discussed when it might be fitted to roadgoing vehicles. Legislation covering the use of electronic devices while driving would need to be amended.
Traffic Jam Pilot uses radar, the same technology employed in leading luxury passenger vehicles for adaptive cruise control. Scania takes the concept further. The pilot takes over only in heavy, stop-slow traffic, controlling brakes, accelerator and steering.
It follows lane markings or the vehicle in front if there are no visible lines.
Scania says this enables the driver to look away from the road to check for email, for example. An iPad app runs in the background while the driver views a movie or email.
Scania says the app relays information to drivers about what is going on in ahead of the truck as they relax. The pilot hands back control to the driver when the truck reaches 50km/h.
Scania believes it isn’t dangerous. “We have thoroughly tested this concept with drivers and found that the situational awareness is equal. In other words drivers had the same traffic awareness as in normal driving,” says Scania designer Daniel Ricknas.
Call off the jam: Scania’s auto-pilot brakes and steers the truck in start-stop traffic — drivers can check emails or watch movies