Truck On Highway 1

Consistent naming conventions help eliminate confusion

Jan. 3, 2020
The trucking industry is famous for using different names for the same thing. Usually folks are able to figure out what is being talked about, but the various names can cause confusion.

The trucking industry is famous for using different names for the same thing. Usually folks are able to figure out what is being talked about, but the various names can cause confusion.

I recently heard of an effort on the part of the automotive industry to try to come up with some standardization for advanced driver assistance systems. And while AAA, Consumer Reports, J.D. Power and the National Safety Council are focused on bringing consistency to the auto industry, I think their idea has some merit for trucking.

Consistency in naming seems especially smart when we are talking about safety-related technologies — after all, that is what advanced driver assistance systems are.

On the automotive side, AAA found that there are as many as 20 different names for a single advanced driver assistance system feature. It also found that marketing was prioritized over clarity of meaning. To be clear, the groups are not proposing that we do away with names for manufacturer’s proprietary systems and packages. Rather they are hoping consistent names of features on window stickers, owner manuals and other marketing materials will allow purchasers to gain a better understanding of the technology and to be able to compare features more easily.

The groups’ efforts are focusing on five broad categories:

  • Driving control assistance
  • Collision warning
  • Collision intervention
  • Parking assistance
  • Other driver assistance systems

Within each of these categories are specific products like adaptive cruise control, active driving assistance and lane keeping assistance; they are grouped under the driving control assistance heading. You can find the complete list on the National Safety Council website. Each of the specific technologies includes a basic definition of what it is designed to do.

Clarity is essential and having the same thing called by the same name allows for a more accurate comparison and provides some assurance that you will, in fact, get what you want.

I know that cars and trucks are different and what makes sense for the automotive industry does not necessarily make sense for the trucking industry. However, in this case I think the car folks are onto something. With so much new technology coming on the market, wouldn’t it be nice if we had some consistency in what we call things? I sure think so.

About the Author

Joseph Evangelist

Joseph is a seasoned transportation executive with domestic and international experience in sales, operations, mergers and acquisition with heavy emphasis on post-acquisition assimilation planning to maximize new growth and business combination opportunities.

He joined Transervice in 2007 and currently serves as executive vice president with sales, operations and staff responsibilities. He is also heavily involved in new business development and account management.

Previously he was president of LLT International, Inc., an international transportation consulting firm with operations in the U.S. and the Far East. He oversaw the maintenance and fleet management of a 2,000-vehicle cement distribution fleet in Indonesia.

Joseph was also president and CEO of Lend Lease Trucks Inc., a truck rental, leasing and dedicated carriage firm with operations throughout the U.S.

He also was vice president/general manager of The Hertz Corporation – Truck Division, a subsidiary of The Hertz Corp. While there he participated in the acquisition and successful integration of the Canadian licensee operations.

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