LOUISVILLE, KY – Joe McAlesse, president and CEO of Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems, believes addressing cost is a major factor in whether new safety technology wins acceptance from the trucking industry.
“Economics is the critical issue,” he told Fleet Owner at the Mid America Trucking Show. “For example, our XVision infra-red detection system has been commercially available for two years now. But the price point for the technology is still too high for most fleets. We need to get the cost down to between $1,000 to $1,500 to get wider use of this system.”
The operating environment is driving acceptance of Xvision in some fleet niches. “Fleets in Canada, for instance, dealing with long winter nights or fleets operating in rural areas that have more frequent collision with animals such as deer are much more interested in using such technology as their risks are higher,” he added.
In contrast, the rapid rise in insurance prices over the last three years has now made systems such as rollover protection and electronic stability control much more attractive. “The economics of that technology has totally changed since the September 11 terrorist attacks,” McAlesse said. “Liability insurance rates have skyrocketed for fleets. Preventing vehicle damage, cargo claims, and workman’s compensation costs by preventing a rollover or jack knifing via electronic stability control makes such technology much more attractive to the point where even at a $1,000 premium it pays for itself.”