April 14, 2021 4:45 PM, EDT

TMC Study Group Continues to Craft Guidance for ADAS Training

TMC ADAS groupAmanda Schuier (clockwise from top left), Christopher Sterwerf, Greg Johnsen and Erica Schueller. (TMC/Transport Topics)

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Progress is underway for guidance documents for advanced driver assistance systems, according to a Technology & Maintenance Council study group.

The study group, dedicated to fleet maintenance management, met April 14 for TMC’s spring meeting.

A division of American Trucking Associations, TMC’s meeting was adapted to a virtual format due to COVID-19.

During the meeting, study group chairwoman Amanda Schuier cited a couple of recommended practice (RP) documents regarding the subject of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) that are currently in progress. Schuier also serves as senior vice president of Quality Transport Co., a trucking company based in Freeport, Ill.

One document, a joint RP between the study group on fleet maintenance management and the study group on automated and electric vehicles, aims to develop guidelines for common ADAS nomenclature.

The second RP, developed solely within the study group on fleet maintenance management, is focused on crafting guidelines for training technicians to support the maintenance and repair of ADAS.

The nomenclature document lays out alternate names for systems, which Christopher Sterwerf, chief operating officer of heavy-duty truck repair center Fairfield Auto & Truck Service Inc. in Fairfield, Ohio, said technicians may find useful. He said some systems have similar names or are called by different descriptors depending on the original equipment manufacturers.

“[Technicians] might not know the exact name for it, but they know what part of the truck is affected,” Sterwerf added. “How we group it to make it usable for the technician is going to be key here.”

Erica Schueller, editorial director of Endeavor Commercial Vehicle Group, suggested a visual aid indicating systems on a truck may also be helpful to include in an RP document.

Participants brought up lessons learned from their own experiences in the industry during the meeting. From a collision repair and body shop perspective, Sterwerf stressed the importance of scanning the truck to gain familiarity with its system and what sort of repairs can be made.

“When a vehicle’s in an accident, that accident doesn’t discriminate on the age of the truck,” Sterwerf said. “We have to work on trucks that are brand new and just rolled off the line. It’s very unpredictable what that truck went through during the accident.”


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Greg Johnsen, regional service manager at Maverick Transportation, said the process of adopting ADAS technologies at the company involves testing the systems on select trucks and drivers and bringing the manufacturer in to do in-house training. He recommended companies create standard operating procedures, so they can review information with new technicians or conduct periodic reviews with all technicians.

Based in North Little Rock, Ark., and founded in 1980, Maverick provides services to the flatbed, glass and specialized transportation markets. Maverick USA ranks No. 76 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of the largest for-hire carriers in North America.

“As you train for specific technologies, it’s very important to not forget the other technologies that are on the truck,” Johnsen said. “You may be adding one specific technology, but it’s affected by another and affects another as well.”

Schuier said the joint task force working on the nomenclature-related RP will likely convene at every TMC meeting in the near future. She said the team members will need to spend some time reviewing the document and hope to have it “cleaned up” in time for the fall meeting.

TMC plans to reconvene Sept. 12-16 in Cleveland for its fall meeting and exhibition.

For the RP on technician training, Schuier said the group is aiming to have a draft of the document ready by September. Johnsen said this RP is going to have to be reviewed more often than every five years, as the technology associated with ADAS changes rapidly.

“There’s a lot going on in these trucks,” said Ross Froat, director of technology and engineering policy at American Trucking Associations. “Not a lot of people have a lot of direction. That’s why this task force is really, really important.”

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