Advanced Detroit safety package rolls out in 2015

Nov. 14, 2014

MIAMI. The new Detroit Assurance integrated safety system will be made available by Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) on select Freightliner tractor models in the first quarter of 2015.

Introduced at the American Trucking Associations (ATA) annual convention in October, Detroit Assurance integrates radar and sensor technology with Detroit engines and transmissions as well as a truck’s brake system to offer active brake assist (ABA) and active cruise control (ACC) capability.

While Brad Williamson, DTNA’s manager of powertrain marketing said that the company still plans to still offer similar safety technology such as Meritor’s OnGuard package as options on DTNA-brand heavy trucks, he believes the ability to better integrate Detroit Assurance with DTNA components is the major advantage of the new proprietary system.

“It’s really about the feel, the smoothness, and how we can better integrate the intelligent controls with the truck,” Williamson explained here during a press conference with reporters. “That’s the main piece.”

Detroit Assurance will also be available with an optional camera system that offers lane departure warning (LDW) capability as well, he pointed out.

Williamson stressed that Detroit Assurance will initially only be available on 2016 Freightliner Cascadia and Cascadia Evolution tractor models equipped with Detroit engines and the company’s DT-12 automated manual transmission (AMT) or manual transmissions.

He added that Detroit Assurance will also be “price competitive” with comparable systems available on the market.

Detroit Assurance is referred to as a “safety suite” by DTNA and use cab-mounted radar and optional cameras to warn the driver or, if necessary, slow the truck down automatically.

Scott Keebler, DTNA’s GM of component sales, noted that ABA follows a three step process to help mitigate potential collisions.

First, it mutes the radio if in operation while sounding an audible warning as well as flashing a visual warning to the driver. If no action is taken, partial braking is engaged with ‘tactile’ warnings given to the driver. Finally, if a collision is imminent, the system will fully engage the transmission, engine brake and service brakes.

Keebler pointed out that ACC piece of the Detroit Assurance package activates when the vehicle exceeds 37 mph and can be set to offer from 2.3 to 3.5 seconds worth of following distance. A 15 minute disable switch gives drivers the ability to deactivate ACC when in construction zones and the like, with cruise control re-engaging following that 15 minute interval when the vehicle hits 47 mph.

He added that the optional camera system provides audio and visual indicators to notify a driver if and when they unintentionally depart from their lane, with the system again muting the radio if playing and then generating audible warnings on the side of the vehicle where the lane departure occurs.

Williamson noted that Detroit Assurance represents 18 to 20 months’ worth of development to this point, including two winter and two summer test cycles. He added that customer demonstration trucks models equipped with Detroit Assurance are expected to hit the road by the end of November this year.

About the Author

Sean Kilcarr | Editor in Chief

Sean previously reported and commented on trends affecting the many different strata of the trucking industry. Also be sure to visit Sean's blog Trucks at Work where he offers analysis on a variety of different topics inside the trucking industry.

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