Automated Driver Assistance Systems Helpful to Promote Safety, UPS Executive Says

Carlton Rose of UPS
Carlton Rose of UPS at TMC. (John Sommers II for Transport Topics)

ATLANTA — Automated driver assistance systems are tools the freight industry may utilize to enhance highway safety, a senior executive at UPS Inc. reminded executives at the Technology & Maintenance Council annual meeting March 6.

Features designed to avoid collisions, such as lane-departure warning systems, automatic emergency braking and video-based onboard safety monitoring systems would boost the safety of drivers and motorists, said Carlton Rose, UPS president for global fleet maintenance and engineering.

The safety features, Rose explained, also are useful as the industry transitions to the adoption of automated vehicles.

“They’re coming. The real question is when,” Rose said. “We just can’t look at the technology coming at us. We must be actively engaged.”

To keep up with rapid technological advancements in automation, Rose said UPS tapped Peloton Technology to test truck platooning systems. Platooning entails having a lead vehicle controlled by a driver as one or two vehicles capable of operating without drivers follow. For several years, platooning proponents have touted its potential efficiency benefits.

Peloton is among several firms testing autonomous trucks. The U.S. Department of Transportation intends to update its guidance for automated vehicles in the coming months. On Capitol Hill, members of the Senate Commerce Committee are expected to consider legislation this year that would primarily facilitate the development of self-driving cars.