March 31, 2016 2:00 PM, EDT

Wabco Adds Video Analytics to Lane-Departure System

Sees Disc Brakes as Key for Autonomous Driving Tech
Morrison by John Sommers II for Transport Topics
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Wabco introduced the next generation of its lane-departure warning system and pointed to air disc brakes as a key component for the emergence of autonomous driving technologies.

The latest version of the OnLane system will add video-based data analytics through a partnership with SmartDrive, a supplier of onboard cameras and video-safety technology.

That integration will enable fleets to coach their drivers to improve safety and efficiency, Jon Morrison, Wabco president of the Americas, said here March 31 at the Mid-America Trucking Show.

The integration with SmartDrive also helps make the OnLane system a connected part of a fleet’s operations rather than a stand-alone system on the truck, Morrison said.

“This is a breakthrough in terms of being able to take advantage of integration and connectivity on the vehicle to improve fleet safety and driver safety,” he said.

The new OnLane system with video analysis will be available for order in late 2016, Morrison said.

Wabco also announced that it has sold more than 100,000 of its OnGuard collision mitigation systems in North America since the product’s launch in late 2007.

Last year, the company introduced the latest version of that system, OnGuardActive, which soon will be deployed for the first time by a U.S. fleet, Morrison said.

Looking ahead, Morrison said air disc brakes will play an integral role on the path toward autonomous trucks.

“We believe the disc brake really will become a platform to enable the better braking that’s really going to be required when we look at future automation and future autonomous vehicles,” he said.

Morrison said disc brakes can provide shorter stopping distances and longer service intervals than traditional drum brakes.

Braking performance will be crucial for platooning, where two or more trucks connect wirelessly to synchronize braking and enable shorter following distances.

At the same time, a growing number of passenger cars will feature automatic braking systems, and it will be important for truck braking systems to improve as well, he said.

Wabco has seen more than 60% year-over-year growth in its disc brake line in the past few years, Morrison added.

To help meet that demand, Wabco soon will begin manufacturing disc brakes in North America. The company’s new plant in Charleston, South Carolina, is on track to begin production by the third quarter, Morrison said.