Con-Way’s Tractors to Get Extra Eyes

As part of its annual equipment replacement cycle, LTL carrier Con-Way Transportation Services has scheduled delivery of 605 new Sterling tractors between now and June. Each of the tractors will be equipped with a high-tech collision avoidance system that will help Con-Way’s drivers monitor the speed and location of other vehicles in front or beside them. The cost of the safety improvement is estimated

As part of its annual equipment replacement cycle, LTL carrier Con-Way Transportation Services has scheduled delivery of 605 new Sterling tractors between now and June.

Each of the tractors will be equipped with a high-tech collision avoidance system that will help Con-Way’s drivers monitor the speed and location of other vehicles in front or beside them. The cost of the safety improvement is estimated at more than $1 million.

“We've been following the development of this technology for a number of years,” said Doug Stotlar, executive vp of operations for Con-Way. “If we get the anticipated results from these first units, our plan is to make collision avoidance systems standard equipment on all new heavy duty tractors we buy.”

The system has a set of radar antennas on the front and the side of the tractor. The antennas are connected to an on-board computer that monitors tractor speed and engine activity and matches that activity to that of vehicles in front and beside the tractor.

When the front-mounted antenna detects a faster-than-desired closing rate on a vehicle, the computer alerts the driver to the potentially dangerous situation. The side-mounted antenna gives an audible warning to the driver when a vehicle is detected in the blind spot on the right-hand side of the vehicle.

The Con-Way operating units that will be receiving the tractors are Con-Way Western Express, Con-Way Central Express, Con-Way Southern Express and Con-Way Canada Express. Stotlar said the broad geographic distribution will provide exposure and operating results from a diverse set of highway operating conditions.

Stotlar said he expects to have Con-Way’s entire fleet equipped within seven years.

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