November 20, 2005

• Collision Avoidance/Warning System: Sensors installed at the front of a vehicle, which constantly scan the road ahead for vehicles or obstacles. Detecting an obstacle, the system then determines whether the vehicle is in immediate danger of crashing. If so, it warns the driver with a tone, a warning light or a “heads-up” display.

• Adaptive (Intelligent, Smart) Cruise Control: A combination of collision warning technology and existing cruise control, the system maintains separation distance behind a followed vehicle using an adjustable range control.

• Rollover Detection and Prevention System: Using either in-vehicle sensors or highway-mounted sensors, the system alerts the driver when exceeding the speed at which a rollover or load shift may occur.

• Lane Tracking or Lane Departure Warning: If a vehicle moves to the edge of the roadway, an audible alarm in the vehicle sounds to alert the driver. Some systems track the highway lane markers and give an alarm if the driver crosses a lane marking without the appropriate turn signal. These systems can also sense the driver’s level of alertness by detecting erratic steering or weaving.

• Side Sensing (Proximity) Devices: Using technology similar to collision avoidance systems, these devices monitor the close proximity (sides) of the vehicle. It then gives an alarm to assist in preventing sideswipe crashes if it senses an object.

• Vehicle and Cargo Tracking Systems: Tracking the vehicle and broadcasting its position via a satellite-based global positioning system, this enables the transportation company to know the precise vehicle position and monitor driver performance.

• Driver Alertness Monitors: Using eyelid movement blink rate, head movements or steering wheel movement (or some combination), these systems monitor driver alertness and warn the driver if outside pre-established personal benchmarks.

• In-Vehicle Event Data Recorder (EDR) or “Black Box”: EDRs constantly record information related to vehicle performance. Recorded data might include information such as the driver and passenger belt usage, the driver’s steering and brake input, airbag and seatbelt tensioners’ data, information from the ABS, the speed and deceleration information of the vehicle and the location of the vehicle. In addition, the system may also trigger an automatic collision notification.

• In-Vehicle Cameras: Cameras record, but do not save, video and audio images of the driving scene. When a preset g-force is exceeded, the camera saves audio and video of the event for future review by management. This record of driving events can be used to counsel drivers and improve their behavior.

Source: Dave Melton and Emily Huang at the Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety.

Was this article valuable?

Here are more articles you may enjoy.

From This Issue

Insurance Journal West

Insurance Journal Magazine