Con-way Freight has joined with the University of Michigan's Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) to begin field-testing of an integrated crash-warning system installed in commercial trucks. The initiative is being conducted under the auspices of the Integrated Vehicle-Based Safety System (IVBSS) program, a cooperative effort with the U.S. Department of Transportation. IVBSS technology integrates multiple crash-warning features, including forward collision, lane departure and lane change or merge-warning systems into the commercial truck platform. Drivers acquire better awareness of their vehicles' surroundings; they receive warnings when they about to inadvertently leave the road, are in danger of colliding with another vehicle while attempting a lane change, or are at risk of colliding with the vehicle ahead. Con-way, a less-than-truckload carrier and subsidiary of Con-way Inc., volunteered to participate in the project. The carrier recently purchased 10 Class-8 tractors equipped with IVBSS technology. It uses information gathered by inertial, video and radar sources, in addition to a global positioning system. Over the next 10 months, 20 Con-way freight drivers will operate the IVBSS-equipped vehicles out of the company's Detroit service center, logging an estimated 700,000 miles. The tests will generate data on driver response to the system, as well as naturalistic use and driving conditions. Researchers will use the data to evaluate the potential safety benefits of integrating multiple crash-warning systems. The field-testing is part of the second phase of the four-year IVBSS program, according to UMTRI.
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