Special Coverage



Wabco Introduces Intelligent Trailer Platform

Wabco's Collin Shaw, director of business development. (John Sommers II for Transport Topics)

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ATLANTA — Wabco Holdings Inc. introduced a connected and intelligent trailer platform built on an intelligent anti-lock braking system, an intelligent trailer program and its TrailerCast telematics device — as well as open software architecture.

Wabco made its announcement Feb. 23 at American Trucking Associations' Technology & Maintenance Council annual meeting.

Wabco is leveraging the ABS units trailers already must have. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration requires ABS on air-braked semi-trailers and single-unit trucks manufactured on or after March 1, 1998.

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“They have to buy an ABS unit. We are simply adding a couple of pieces onto that, rather than multiple gateways or other devices, that get all the data together and send it out to the cloud," said Collin Shaw, director of business development for Wabco North America. "Listening to the industry, we are keenly aware of the need for more information coming from the trailer. If you look to the truck today, [it] has a lot of modems. They have telematics devices. There are a number of solutions providing insights into the truck.”

Wabco’s ITP initiative comes as 80% of fleets do not use telematics to capture and send information from their trailers, according to Wabco’s recent fleet survey.

“But these same fleets are reporting issues with tire inflation, other tire problems, brake issues. There are Compliance, Safety, Accountability violations. So there is a need for more information out there,” Shaw said.

Part of the reason more fleets aren’t using telematics is because a lot of what is on the market is either track-and-trace or very high-end solutions that try to do everything, he said.

In the meantime, trailer-leasing companies, especially, want to access more information, such as odometer readings, coming from their trailers, he said. “They have to send people out to trailers for billing and things like that.”

More fleets also want information on coded ABS faults.

At the same time, Wabco’s iABS will helps improve trailer control during emergency braking. It also enables the activation of ITP features including lift axle control, door ajar and axle load monitoring.

Wabco Holdings, based in Auburn Hills, Mich., already has started iABS collaborations with Hendrickson and its Watchman wheel-end sensor technology for trailers that operates on the vehicle area network developed by Sensata Technologies.

Shaw also said its iABS is a part of trailer maker Great Dane’s FleetPulse telematics system.


Wabco's TrailerCast. (John Sommers II for Transport Topics)

Wabco does not expect a lot of disruption, he said, as it begins to roll out iABS that eventually will replace its current ABS product.

TrailerCast was launched in Europe in 2019, and Wabco is starting commercial trials here in early March with an expected launch midyear.

Its TrailerCast telematics device provides GPS across North America and 4G cellular connectivity to iABS. It is available with and without battery backup, although still Wabco is working through some of the specifics.

“We expect the battery to be able to broadcast locations of the trailer for a few months. It will automatically recharge once is it is hooked up to the power unit,” Shaw said.

Additionally, with its 4G cellular connection, TrailerCast can transmit critical trailer information to Wabco’s data cloud and fleets can access this information in real time through Noregon’s TripVision.

“We have developed a cloud environment where the TrailerCast device is able to take the information from the ABS electronic control unit and broadcast that to our cloud environment, which our partners like Noregon can then plug into, take the information and put it in their back office solutions and get to the front end of Noregon’s TripVision,” he said.

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