DCX-owned Freightliner announced a truckload (quit your groaning!) of advanced safety technology new to the heavy-truck industry at DaimlerChryler's Innovation Symposium in Washington D.C. Among the features that are either currently available or undergoing field evaluations are electronic stability control, electronically-controlled air braking systems, lane-departure warning, adaptive cruise control with collision warning, and a blind-spot monitoring system called "Sidewinder". With the exception of the air brake system, these features obviously are being adopted from the light-car market, which is a somewhat unusual flow of technology. Michael von Mayenburg, Freightliner senior VP of technology, is careful to point out "The basis of safe operations will continue to be a skilled, trained truck driver." That being said, truck drivers get tired, and car drivers continue to do moronic things around 40-ton rigs. This new technology should go a long way towards keeping everyone on the highway a bit safer. If there's any truckers out there, we'd love to hear your comments on this.



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