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Daimler introduces first SAE Level 2 automated truck in North America with the Freightliner New Cascadia

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Daimler Trucks North America introduces the first SAE Level 2 automated truck in series production in North America with the latest enhancements to the Freightliner new Cascadia. (Courtesy: DAIMLER TRUCKS NORTH AMERICA)

LAS VEGAS — Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) Monday introduced the first SAE Level 2 automated truck in series production in North America with the latest enhancements to the Freightliner new Cascadia.

Level 2 automation means the truck is capable of both lateral (steering) and longitudinal (acceleration/deceleration) control.

The truck is part of the revolutionary truck technologies featured by DTNA at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway during the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show (CES).

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 94 percent of crashes are attributable to human error.

Automating acceleration, deceleration and steering reduces the chance for human error, mitigates collisions and can potentially save lives. These technologies can also enhance the driver experience by making the truck-driving task easier, thereby improving driver comfort and well-being, according to Kelly Gedert, director of product marketing for Freightliner and Detroit.

DTNA’s expertise in automation is backed by Daimler Trucks, which also said Monday at CES an investment of over half a billion dollars and an addition of more than 200 new jobs in its global push to put highly automated trucks (SAE Level 4) on the road within a decade. Most of these jobs will be located at the new Daimler Trucks Automated Truck Research & Development Center at DTNA’s headquarters in Portland, Oregon.

In May 2015, DTNA pioneered automated driving with the introduction of the Freightliner Inspiration Truck, which was the first automated truck licensed to operate on U.S. public highways.

Today, the new Cascadia delivers SAE Level 2 driving capabilities with the Detroit Assurance 5.0 suite of camera- and radar-based safety systems. This new, proprietary system marks a key milestone in Freightliner’s relentless pursuit of industry-leading overall safety, driver experience, and fuel efficiency, Gedert said.

The system can accelerate, decelerate, and steer independently. The Detroit Assurance 5.0 Adaptive Cruise Control and Active Lane Assist features make automated driving possible in all speed ranges for the first time in a series production truck, including:

  • Adaptive Cruise Control to 0 mph: Improves safety, efficiency and driver comfort by automatically decelerating and accelerating to maintain a safe following distance. This technology is especially important for maintaining a comfortable driving experience in congested traffic conditions where repeated braking, accelerating and resetting of traditional cruise control can lead to driver fatigue.
  • Active Lane Assist: Consists of Lane Keep Assist and Lane Departure Protection. When Adaptive Cruise Control is enabled, Lane Keep Assist supports the driver by using micro-steering movements to keep the new Cascadia centered in its detected lane. With Lane Departure Protection, if the truck begins to drift without the turn signal engaged, the system will counter steer the truck back into its lane and give an auditory and visual warning.

In addition to Level 2 automated driving features, the Detroit Assurance 5.0 active safety and advanced driver assistance systems are designed to keep truck drivers, pedestrians, cyclists, and other motorists safe:

  • Active Brake Assist 5.0: The fusion of Detroit Assurance 5.0 camera and radar technology detects moving pedestrians and cyclists in front of the truck and can deploy full braking – an industry first. It can also detect and mitigate a collision with full braking on moving and stationary vehicles and objects.
  • Side Guard Assist: Detects objects, including pedestrians and cyclists, in the passenger-side blind spot for the tractor and a full-length 53-foot trailer, another industry first, and delivers an audible and visual warning.

“The enhancements we’ve made to Detroit Assurance have the potential to make an immediate, measurable and positive impact on overall North American road safety,” Gedert said. “In fact, fleets with trucks equipped with forward collision mitigation systems can experience a 60 percent to 80 percent reduction in rear-end crashes, resulting in potentially fewer accidents and reduced operational costs to our customers.”

Detroit Connect Analytics provides fleets with analysis and key insights on the performance of the new Detroit Assurance 5.0 safety features. Fleets will be notified if drivers have their hands off the wheel for longer than 60 seconds.

Gedert said the new Cascadia also features one of the industry’s most efficient designs, inside and out.

“Thanks to DTNA’s significant investment in ongoing R&D in aerodynamics, powertrain development and systems intelligence, the new Cascadia delivers a 35 percent improvement in fuel efficiency compared to the first Cascadia introduced in 2007. This equates to annual savings of up to 4,700 gallons of fuel per truck, which is the amount of fuel consumed by six typical family cars in a year,” he said.

The new truck also offers aerodynamic enhancements the include Aerodynamic Height Control. An industry first, Aerodynamic Height Control electronically lowers the suspension height at 55 mph to optimize airflow over and under the front of the truck and reduce drag. Other enhancements include Michelin X Line D+ Energy tires developed in collaboration with Michelin, which reduce rolling resistance in 6×4 applications, and a low ground clearance bumper.

Gedert said another critical component of the new Cascadia’s performance is its Integrated Detroit Powertrain, a powerful combination of a proprietary heavy-duty engine, transmission, and axle that is designed to seamlessly work together for maximum efficiency. The integrated powertrain features Intelligent Powertrain Management 6, which uses the truck’s kinetic energy to automatically adjust to the truck’s surroundings by reducing braking power and making transmission and engine adjustments, saving fuel and reducing wear and tear on components.

“It’s not just the new Cascadia’s aerodynamic shape, specific options or powertrain components that make it the best – it’s that these features are engineered to seamlessly work together,” said Kary Schaefer, general manager, marketing and strategy for Daimler Trucks North America. “And we are the only truck manufacturer to offer that level of integration.”

For fleets concerned with fuel economy, Detroit Connect Analytics will also introduce new Intelligent Powertrain Management reporting capabilities, and the fuel analysis will indicate if the vehicle is using Aerodynamic Height Control, Schaefer said.

“With more than 65,000 customer deliveries to date and 50,000 on order, the new Cascadia has proven to be the Class 8 truck of choice in the industry,” she said. “We’re proud to be once again raising the bar.”

 

 

 

 

 

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Howes says its updating look around clarity, improved messaging

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Accompanying the new brand effort, Howes has chosen to help portray its identity through a new St. Bernard logo which the company says will serve as the new brand mark and represent the strength, loyalty, dependability and trust that form the foundation of the company. (Courtesy: HOWES)

NORTH KINGSTOWN, R. I. — Howes is rolling out a new look.

For almost a century, Howes has provided its customers with additives that are designed keep up with changing fuels, engines and injector systems.

Now, Howes is updating its look to match.

The new brand look is centered around clarity and improved messaging, making it easier for customers to quickly purchase the Howes product that best suits their needs, according to new employee Phil Colacchio, vice president of marketing, who has spearheaded the initiative.

Unique and creative, the Howes brand platform will flow from the packaging on shelf all the way through to its new, easy to navigate website that will be launched this month, he said.

“The Howes family was ready to shake things up. Joining the team and helping to improve customer satisfaction has been a wonderful opportunity, and an effort that we are intent on continually improving,” Colacchio said. “We’re thrilled with our new brand look and how it clearly identifies each individual product and communicates what each product does and how to use them. By using distinct colors to differentiate the products and helpful icons to point out their features and benefits, the new branding offers a very simple purchasing experience.”

Best known for its flagship product, Howes Diesel Treat, Howes offers a complete line of additives and lubricants for diesel fuel, gasoline, and even oil.

“We want our customers to know that we are more than just a winter additive company and that we offer the best performing products for all of your additive needs,” said Howes President Robert Howes. “Products that work in trucks, tractors, RV’s and even home heating oil. Plus, we still carry my great grandfather’s original secret formula; a Multi-Purpose Lubricating and Penetrating Oil that, to this day, surpasses all other products in its class. In short, we make the most reliable performance fluids for moving parts and vehicles and we want to help you easily find the one that you need when you need it.”

The new branding effort brings more than just a new visual identity for Howes. It highlights the family’s core values and culture. For many years, Howes has used the tagline “Professional Grade Performance Since 1920.”

Accompanying the new brand effort, Howes has chosen to help portray its identity through a new St. Bernard logo which will serve as the new brand mark and represent the strength, loyalty, dependability and trust that form the foundation of the company, Howes said.

“Never releasing a product with which we are completely satisfied, we tirelessly test and test again, until every product we make is proven safe and effective, according to Rob Howes II, vice president of strategic development.

“All of our products are safe to use and contain absolutely no alcohol or harmful solvents. Our products are tested in and out of the lab by experts, by us personally, as well as by our customers,” Rob Howes said. “We refuse to release any product that is merely average, we strive for excellence. If it’s a Howes product, it’s a reliable product. We make sure of it. You don’t even have to take our word for it. Ask a friend, ask a colleague, ask anyone who has used it and they’ll tell you, this stuff works.”

As a fifth generation, family owned and operated company, Co-Owner Deb Howes said the company is committed to providing its customers with not only the best products, but with the ultimate in industry knowledge and customer service.

“This is not just a business to us. This is our legacy,” Deb Howes said. “This is our family, and that extends beyond our office doors to our employees, our distributors, our customers. They are all family to us. Their success is our success and vice versa. That’s why we put 100 percent into every product we make, and why we stand behind each one whole heartedly.”

Howes earns trust not by just the superior products they put out, but by really being there when they are needed, said Vice President of Business Development Erika Howes. “We answer our phones when someone calls, you aren’t greeted by machines and recordings,” commented Erika Howes, vice president of business development. “We are out in the field, we are talking face to face with people and we listen to what they have to say. We are always looking to learn all we can about people’s needs. It’s one of the things that make this change so exciting. We saw that our customers needed more, and in our commitment to excellence, we’re dedicated to giving them just that.”

The new brand will be unveiled at the Mid-America Trucking Show March 28-30 in Louisville, Kentucky.

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Bendix set to deliver Safety Direct event video with new app

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In addition to enabling full SafetyDirect access, the forthcoming SafetyDirect Mobile app will also allow drivers to securely identify themselves in the vehicle. (Courtesy: BENDIX COMMERCIAL VEHICLE SYSTEMS)

ELYRIA, Ohio — Video information and other data captured by today’s commercial vehicle systems is both valuable and vital as fleets and drivers aim to improve safety on the roads.

A new mobile device application from Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems will deliver quicker access to that information, pairing with Bendix’s leading-edge hardware and its SafetyDirect system to enhance fleet safety and driver training efforts.

“The app is called SafetyDirect Mobile. It is fully compatible with our powerful new fifth-generation SafetyDirect processor and our AutoVue LDW 5G platform, and it has been developed to enhance the new features provided by our new hardware,” said TJ Thomas, Bendix director of marketing and customer solutions – controls. “It means when you are standing next to the vehicle, you will be able to directly connect to the SafetyDirect processor – using Wi-Fi – and stream SafetyDirect video directly to the app. That’s a very powerful tool – and an industry first.”

Bendix expects to launch the app in the third quarter of this year.

SafetyDirect by Bendix CVS is Bendix’s user-friendly web portal that provides fleet operators with comprehensive feedback on their fleet and drivers, along with videos of severe events, Thomas said.

SafetyDirect, the only fleet camera system available as a factory-installed option at all major truck manufacturers, gives fleets key insights into common driving behaviors and trends across their operation. It wirelessly transmits the driver performance information and event-based data – video, vehicle, and sensor information from a vehicle’s J1939 network – to a secure web portal, providing fleets the necessary tools to help enhance their safety program.

In addition to enabling full SafetyDirect access, the forthcoming SafetyDirect Mobile app will also allow drivers to securely identify themselves in the vehicle, Thomas said. The app is part of a phased introduction of new features and advanced functionality expected to occur throughout 2019.

Because no advanced driver assistance technology can replace the need for safe and alert drivers practicing safe driving habits, Bendix stresses the importance of comprehensive, proactive driver training, and providing fleets with actionable information and tools to support their safety efforts.

“Informed fleets and drivers help enable safer fleets and drivers,” Thomas said. “The easier we can make it to reinforce good driving, sharpen training programs, and support the men and women behind the wheel, the safer our highways become.”

Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems, a member of the Knorr-Bremse Group, develops and supplies leading-edge active safety technologies, energy management solutions, and air brake charging and control systems and components under the Bendix brand name.

For more information, visit www.bendix.com.

 

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Trailer orders down 9 percent from January, ACT says

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February net orders slid 9 percent from January volume and were 29 percent below the same month last year. (Courtesy: GREAT DANE)

COLUMBUS, Ind. — ACT Research’s preliminary estimate for February 2019 net trailer orders is 23,800 units.

Final volume will be available later this month.

ACT said its methodology allows the company to generate a preliminary estimate of the market that should be within +/- 3 [ercent of the final order tally.

“February net orders slid 9 percent from January volume and were 29 percent below the same month last year,” said Frank Maly, ACT’s director of CV transportation analysis and research.

“The sequential net order decline matches the industry order pattern of the past two years. With the majority of this year’s build slots already committed, and many OEMs unwilling to open next year’s order board this early, the potential for higher gross orders is somewhat limited at this point. Additionally, cancellations were roughly 1 percent of industry backlog last month. While not excessive, that generates some headwinds for net order volumes as well”

Maly said the order number was still solid, but a softer order count combined with stronger production volumes in February resulted in a 1 percent decline in industry backlog at month-end. “Backlog has remained relatively stable for the past four months, reaching an all-time high in December,” Maly said. “At current production rates, the order board commits the industry into November on average, although dry vans backlogs stretch into mid-December, while reefer commitments actually edge into next year.”

ACT Research is a publisher of commercial vehicle truck, trailer and bus industry data, market analysis and forecasting services for the North American and China markets.

For more information, visit www.actresearch.net.

 

 

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