Although the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) plans to widen its testing of electronic control braking systems (ECBS) in the near future, don't expect any rulemaking efforts aimed at mandating such systems on trucks any time soon. At least that's the word from Duane Perrin, NHTSA chief of heavy vehicle research. "Don't expect a mandate for ECBS - not in the foreseeable future, at least," he said at the TMC meeting. "We still have a lot of testing ahead of us."
Although ECBS is offered on truck trailers in Europe, it isn't an available option right now in the U.S. According to Perrin, NHTSA is still in the midst of a series of tests aimed at finding the weak points of ECBS. "Our interest in ECBS is to improve vehicle braking performance, including compatibility with older and newer equipment, and find out what happens to the brakes if something in the ECBS doesn't work right," he said.