TAMPA, FL – Steven Hartwig, newly installed director of the North American commercial vehicle systems market for Delphi, believes safety is going to be one of the biggest areas of truck technology development in the near future.
“It’s very important to save lives, but if we can cut down by a significant percentage the lives lost to accidents involving cars and trucks, there’s going to be a cost benefit as well to both fleets and truck drivers,” he said in an interview with Fleet Owner here at the Technology & Maintenance Council (TMC) annual meeting. “The market has to be comfortable with the technology and there has to be an economic benefit as well to foster adoption. That’s the key going forward.”
To Hartwing, safety technology in trucking covers several areas – from the exterior of the vehicle, involving adaptive cruise control and truck radar systems, to the vehicle interior, where air bags and other devices aim to protect the driver.
“The key is to integrate all of these devices into one system that is easy to install and use,” he explained. “To have accident avoidance, reduction, and protection in one system would be valuable for the fleet. Fewer accidents mean lower costs and maybe lower insurance rates in the future.”
Hartwing said the key is to find the most efficient way to integrate safety systems onto trucks to maximize their value to a fleet. “We need to understand what the customer can deal with in terms of implementing such technology, especially the cost of it, but not forgetting that the end result is saving lives. That’s important, that’s exciting, and we can’t forget that part of the safety equation.”