Com­mer­cial ve­hi­cle safety

Tech­nol­ogy is el­e­vat­ing safety in com­mer­cial ve­hi­cles.

Commercial Vehicle - - WHAT'S INSIDE - Team CV

Tech­nol­ogy is el­e­vat­ing safety in com­mer­cial ve­hi­cles.

The pur­chase of trucks and buses with fully built bod­ies is in­creas­ing. How­ever, there still ex­ists a mar­ket for those who build bod­ies on rolling truck and bus chas­sis in In­dia. The im­ple­men­ta­tion of Bus Code has de­fined the safety in­clu­sions in bus bod­ies built by an OEM cap­tive unit or by an in­de­pen­dent bus body builder. In the case of trucks, the truck code is in the mak­ing. A sense of ur­gency pre­vails re­gard­ing the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the truck code, but a time pe­riod for its im­ple­men­ta­tion is yet to be de­fined. There is a talk of in­cor­po­rat­ing the learn­ing of the Bus Code to en­sure that it is ef­fec­tive, and serves the pur­pose. In the ab­sence of a truck code, road side truck body builders ex­ist in many parts of the coun­try. They make use of wood, a com­mod­ity that is fast de­plet­ing, apart from iron and alu­minium among oth­ers. Plas­tics hasn’t found a call­ing in the con­struc­tion of truck bod­ies as yet. Its use, at best, is lim­ited to purely cos­metic func­tions. Sen­si­tive to fuel ef­fi­ciency, the bus in­dus­try has been em­ploy­ing a good deal of plas­tics in the build­ing of bus bod­ies at the other end. Their bear­ing on safety is a mat­ter of de­bate, and much like the use of wood is in the build­ing of truck bod­ies.

With com­pa­nies like Daim­ler In­dia Com­mer­cial Ve­hi­cles re­sort­ing to sell­ing full-built trucks and buses only, the pur­chase of trucks with fully-built bod­ies is on the rise. Op­er­a­tors are com­ing to ac­knowl­edge the safety ad­van­tages of a fully-built

truck body. The higher level of safety it of­fers in an un­for­tu­nate in­ci­dent, like col­li­sion. How­ever, cost ad­van­tages con­tin­ues to lure them to­wards af­ter­mar­ket truck body builders. A small per­cent­age of the af­ter­mar­ket truck body builders cater to the spe­cial ap­pli­ca­tion mar­ket. They build trucks that serve as chem­i­cal, oil and milk tankers; as flat bed car car­ri­ers; as air­port ap­pli­ca­tion trucks; as mu­nic­i­pal ap­pli­ca­tion trucks, and more. Safety in the case of each of these spe­cial ap­pli­ca­tion trucks dif­fers, and is quite com­pre­hen­sive. If safety is lack­ing, it is in the case of trucks with af­ter­mar­ket cab and load body – es­pe­cially the wooden bod­ies. In an un­for­tu­nate event of a col­li­sion or crash, the wooden cab or load body hardly serves to pro­tect the oc­cu­pants. It is a sim­i­lar case with buses hav­ing af­ter­mar­ket bod­ies built. With cost tak­ing prece­dence, af­ter­mar­ket bus bod­ies un­til the Bus Code came into play did not give much im­por­tance to safety, or the use of flame re­tar­dant ma­te­rial. Fire sup­pres­sion sys­tems in the en­gine com­part­ment, and the pro­vi­sion for sci­en­tif­i­cally de­signed emer­gency ex­its are some of the pro­vi­sions that the Bus Code has rightly en­sured.

With the rule to equip trucks and buses above cer­tain ca­pac­i­ties, and of cer­tain types with ABS is show­ing re­sults. To cur­tail ac­ci­dents caused by over speed­ing, state govern­ments are claimed to en­sure the fit­ment of speed gov­er­nors. If the ar­rival of sleeper coach code and the air­port tar­mac coach has also con­trib­uted to el­e­vate the safety of CVs, al­beit buses, a big step ahead in el­e­vat­ing safety in the trucks and buses that ply in In­dia is go­ing to be a se­ries of gad­gets that will make the life of a driver

eas­ier and

more pro­duc­tive. Wabco, which was at the fore front of arm­ing In­dian trucks and buses with ABS, is driv­ing safety by pi­lot­ing lane de­par­ture warn­ing sys­tem. Ex­pressed Jacques Es­culier, Chair­man & Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer, Wabco Inc., “We are in­tro­duc­ing tech­nolo­gies and ca­pa­bil­i­ties around ad­vanced driver as­sis­tance sys­tems like Au­ton­o­mous Emer­gency Brak­ing (AEB). In In­dia, we are pi­lot­ing lane de­par­ture warn­ing sys­tems. The air disc brakes we have de­signed may not be elec­tron­i­cally driven, they are how­ever es­sen­tial for safety.” Seat­ing sys­tems specialist Harita Seat­ing un­veiled an In­tel­liseat it has de­vel­oped in as­so­ci­a­tion with the In­dian In­sti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy, Madras. The seat, aimed at trac­tor and com­mer­cial ve­hi­cle driv­ers, is fit­ted with sen­sors that de­tect fa­tigue. When mod­er­ate fa­tigue is de­tected, a chime goes off. When the driver is close to doz­ing off, the seat vi­brates, mak­ing a com­pelling rea­son for the driver to pull over. Volvo’s in­ter-city bus range for in­stance fea­tures a dig­i­tal nose, fit­ted in the ceil­ing. It is claimed to de­tect any drop in oxy­gen level, and alerts the driver. A driver drowsi­ness as­sist fea­ture is op­tional, and can de­tect a change in driver at­ten­tion. An op­tional Alco-lock breath anal­yser pre­vents the bus from start­ing if the driver fails the breath test! On-board high­def­i­ni­tion CCTV cam­eras and pas­sen­ger alert sys­tems are fast catch­ing up. With the ar­rival of elec­tron­ics­based ABS, AEB, lane de­par­ture and drowsi­ness warn­ing tech­nolo­gies to el­e­vate safety, con­nected ve­hi­cles are get­ting closer to re­al­ity closer to re­al­ity. With telem­at­ics find­ing in­creas­ing num­ber of tak­ers in In­dia, for track­ing and trac­ing; for rout­ing and re-rout­ing; for geo fenc­ing; for driver be­hav­iour, and for pre­ven­tive main­te­nance, con­nected trucks and buses are in­deed closer to re­al­ity than many would think. Telem­at­ics is also turn­ing into an ef­fi­cient tool in com­mer­cial ve­hi­cle driver train­ing. If it el­e­vates safety of chil­dren trav­el­ling in a school bus, telem­at­ics is as­sist­ing truck and bus driv­ers in the pe­riod of dif­fi­culty to con­nect with their sup­port sys­tem in case of an un­to­ward in­ci­dent, or when stranded due to some other rea­son. The In­tel­li­gent Trans­port Man­age­ment Sys­tem (iTraMS) from Bosch is an endto-end Ve­hi­cle to In­fra­struc­ture (V2I) ecosys­tem, and in­cludes an on-board unit (OBU), a strong IT back­bone which com­prises of web and mo­bile apps. hosted on en­ter­prise cloud pro­vid­ing tools and pro­cess­ing data us­ing ad­vanced an­a­lyt­ics for nec­es­sary de­ci­sion mak­ing. The iTraMS web por­tal, mo­bile app. and on board unit (OBU) con­nect to the ve­hi­cle ar­chi­tec­ture and send back re­al­time alerts and re­ports about the ve­hi­cle health and driv­ing be­hav­ior. En­abling seam­less in­te­gra­tion with ERP, iTraMS in­te­grates mon­i­tor­ing sen­sors for hu­mid­ity, etc., which can have an ef­fect on the safe func­tion­ing of a truck.

Blind spots around a truck or a bus are of­ten a rea­son for ac­ci­dent. Com­mer­cial ve­hi­cles (CVs) are longer and wider than pas­sen­ger cars, mak­ing the blind spots much larger. To en­hance safety and elim­i­nate blind spots, Clar­ion has de­vel­oped an over­head view mon­i­tor cam­era sys­tem that utilises im­age pro­cess­ing once the cam­era has been in­stalled. Blind spot mon­i­tor­ing sys­tems may take time to find their way to In­dian com­mer­cial ve­hi­cles as it may prove tough to con­vince a fleet op­er­a­tor, or a truck owner to opt for one, and see value in it, the move up to BSIV has en­sured that more elec­tron­ics are find­ing their way into In­dian com­mer­cial ve­hi­cles. They are open­ing up a world of new pos­si­bil­i­ties that el­e­vate safety. Much to the sur­prise, safety tech­nolo­gies in com­mer­cial ve­hi­cles in In­dia have pro­gressed faster than in com­mer­cial ve­hi­cles in China. Said Es­culier, “In­dia has de­liv­ered on safety in trucks and buses faster.” He added, “We have cam­eras that watch the driver, any time there is a safety event. This sys­tem has driven the num­ber of events down sig­nif­i­cantly, mak­ing ev­ery­one safer.”

⇧ With com­pa­nies like DICV sell­ing fully built trucks, the pur­chase of trucks with fully­built bod­ies is on the rise.

⇨ Wabco’s ECU con­trols the an­tilock brake and au­to­matic trac­tion con­trol sys­tems.

1 2 3 4 ⇧ 1. The Alco-lock on­board breath anal­yser is op­tional, and linked to the ig­ni­tion.

2. To avoid blind spots around CVs, next gen­er­a­tion sur­veil­lance cam­eras are mak­ing use of im­age pro­cess­ing. 3. An on­board CCTV cam­era. 4. Pub­lic alert sys­tem.

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