Playing in the dirt with Volvo iron

WABCO, ZF Unveil Advanced Braking and Steering Technology

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Evasive Maneuver Assist first warns the driver of an impending and will take automonous evasive action if the driver fails to do so. Photo by Jim Park

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Evasive Maneuver Assist first warns the driver of an impending and will take automonous evasive action if the driver fails to do so. Photo by Jim Park

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AACHEN, GERMANY -- Automated collision avoidance is several steps closer to reality. At a demonstration event held here on Wednesday, ZF Friedrichshafen AG and WABCO Holdings Inc. revealed a prototype collision avoidance technology for commercial vehicles called Evasive Maneuver Assist.

EMA leverages the combined capabilities of Wabco's OnGuardACTIVE radar-only collision mitigation system along with its proven electronic braking system (EBS), advanced emergency braking system (AEBS), electronic stability control (ESC) and vehicle dynamics control systems with ZF's electro-hydraulic ReAX power steering system.

A radar sensor identifies moving or stationary vehicles ahead and alerts the driver via visual, audio and haptic signals (moderate brake applications) of an impending rear-end collision. If the driver determines that the system cannot avoid a rear-end collision by driver-initiated or autonomous braking alone, EMA engages to help the driver steer safely around the obstructing vehicle and to bring truck and trailer to a safe and complete stop.

pstrongThis graphic depicts the decision process involced in the Evasive Maneuver Assist system. /strong/p

"Today's Evasive Maneuver Assist prototype demonstration is a powerful example of WABCO's and ZF's leadership in developing advanced safety technologies for commercial vehicles," said Jacques Esculier, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Wabco, "EMA connects Wabco's braking and stability control systems with ZF's active steering solution for the first time and marks an important step toward realizing the transportation industry's vision of autonomous driving."

European Union regulations now require newly registered trucks to be fitted with Electronic Stability Control, Advanced Emergency Braking Systems (AEBS) and Lane Departure Warning systems (LDW). ZF considers that the more closely systems and functions are networked and automated and as more passenger car technologies transfer to the commercial vehicle sector, the greater is the potential for safety improvements that will quickly and effectively protect drivers and other road users.

"I'm excited that ZF and Wabco joined forces to combine their world-class steering and braking technologies to create a new collision avoidance functionality for commercial vehicles," said Dr. Stefan Sommer, Chief Executive Officer, ZF Friedrichshafen AG. "Evasive Maneuver Assist is yet another industry leading innovation that has the potential to significantly advance commercial vehicle and road safety worldwide."

Steps Closer to Autonomous Driving

ZF says the megatrends of automation, networking, safety and the electrification of formerly mechanical control components are changing the world of mobility.

Instead of developing stand-alone solutions, ZF is integrating intelligent systems that reflect the megatrends and adding value to the safety proposition.

The demonstration day at Aachen included ride and drive demonstrations for the global trucking trade press of various technologies that will bring heavy trucks closer to being fully autonomous in certain situations.

pstrongUsing GPS, camera and targets, this truck can back itself into a dock without active participation by the driver./strong emPhoto by Jim Park/em/p

ZF demonstrated a truck that can back itself into an alley dock with the combined use of GPS for positioning and a camera and target arrangement that provides guidance for the truck's controllers. The driver passively assists the maneuver by walking along side the vehicle holding a button down on a tablet which keeps the truck in motion. The truck and camera system have sensors that can detect pedestrians or cars coming into the truck's path.

Another feature demonstrated was a fully self-steering truck equipped with a hybrid electric powertrain. It operates on electric motors at low speed, up to 30 km/h, before switching to diesel. It also has a version of adaptive cruise control that maintains a safe following distance at all times, even at low speeds.

The features (on their own) and others are individual systems that are combined into what ZF calls Innovation Truck 2016, which will appear at this year's IAA Commercial Vehicles show in Hannover Germany in September.

Wabco and ZF demonstrated Evasive Maneuver Assist at the test track of RWTH Aachen University in Aldenhoven, Germany.

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Report: Most Fleets Should Consider Low-Viscosity Oil for Fuel Economy

A new report concludes that most fleets should look at adopting lower-viscosity engine oils for fuel savings.

The latest Confidence Report from Trucking Efficiency, a collaborative effort of the North American Council for Freight Efficiency and Carbon War Room, finds that Class 8 over-the-road fleets can realistically expect fuel savings in the range of 0.5% to 1.5% by switching from 15W-40 to 5W/10W-30 engine oil. That could be the currently available CJ-4 class or the newer CK-4 class available after December 2016.

In addition, switching from 5W/10W-30 oil to the fuel-efficient FA-4 variant of the new PC-11 oils, also available after December 2016, is expected to add a further 0.4–0.7% of fuel savings.

Since 2003, the report found, fleets have been ramping up their investment in lower viscosity lubricants. However, adoption rates, even among the most efficiency-conscious fleets, only recently crossed 40%, while the adoption rates for the industry as a whole remain at only about 20%.

The timing of the report was designed to give the industry information in advance of the availability of a new category of oils, collectively known as Proposed Category 11 (PC-11), in December 2016. For the first time, engine oil buyers will be faced with a choice of performance categories within a given viscosity — the CK-4 oils, which will be an update of the currently available CJ-4 performance category, and the brand new type of oils to be known as FA-4.

The report combines research, conversations at trucking industry events, and interviews with fleets, truck OEMs, engine oil manufacturers, and certifying bodies active in the North American market today.

'Thicker Protects Better?'

Misperceptions may have hindered the wide-scale adoption of lower-viscosity oils so far, notes the report. There is a generally held belief that heavier, or “thicker,” engine oil protects engines better. But modern engines subject oil to a variety of temperature and lubricating conditions, and the ability of the engine oil to perform under these conditions depends on many more factors than simply the oil's viscosity, notes the report.

Before any particular engine oil is approved, both the engine OEM and the oil suppliers will have tested it extensively. All approved engine oils meet the durability requirements of every major OEM, regardless of viscosity, and all major North American engine OEMs have approved lower-viscosity 5W/10W-30 engine oil for over-the-road applications.

“Lower viscosity engine oils deliver fuel savings, and concerns over lower engine protection are simply not valid anymore,” says Yunsu Park, NACFE Study Manager.

“What we learned is that there's just much more to what makes an oil work and not work other than viscosity,” Park explained. “The amount of work and testing that goes into oil is so extensive. We had one manufacturer tell us that after analysis the low viscosity oil actually showed less wear when you take the components apart and examine them very closely. Viscosity itself is just one of many characteristics of an oil.”

The report offers a “primer” in areas such as viscosity, base stocks and the additives used in oils to provide engine protection.


While engine protection may no longer be a valid reason not to switch to lower-viscosity oils, cost and compatibility with the entire fleet are another story.

For fleets using non-synthetic 15W-40 oils, there is a cost in switching to low-viscosity engine oil. This is largely due to the fact that much of the 15W-40 oil found on the market today is mineral-based, while most XW-30 engine oils are synthetic or synthetic-blends. A change only in viscosity does not result in a significant cost increase, but synthetic and synthetic-blend oils are positioned as premium products and command a premium price. At the retail level, a switch from a mineral-based oil to a synthetic blend typically increases cost by 30–40%, even within the same brand family.

Every fleet interviewed for this report cited compatibility with all of a fleet's equipment as a basic requirement for adoption of a new engine oil. While lower-viscosity 5W/10W-30 oil versions of CJ-4/CK-4 oil have been approved for engines going back to at least the 2010 model year, the soon-to-be introduced FA-4 oil, which offers the greatest fuel efficiency gains, may have issues with compatibility.

However, that incompatibility may not be as across-the-board as previously thought, says Mike Roeth, executive director of NACFE.

“When I went into this I had the assumption that FA-4 would not be backward compatible,” he said. “In talking to people we learned it is not approved to be backward compatible, but as they start testing older engines with the newer oils, maybe it will. As fleets work over time with engine manufacturers and oil suppliers, I expect there to be a growing amount of test data available that there will be some backwards compatibility for this oil.”


Given that fuel savings of this magnitude can be difficult for fleets to conclusively verify in their own testing, the Confidence Report suggests that fleets considering a switch to lower-viscosity engine oil use a conservative 0.5% in calculating the payback they will earn from switching. If an acceptable return-on-investment is shown with this low level of fuel savings, fleets should be able to confidently make the switch.

While these efficiency gains are modest relative to some other technologies, the study's authors note that this is one of the rare instances where an efficiency technology can be implemented across the entire fleet very quickly, does not require an upfront investment, and does not require any changes in operation or maintenance practices.

It recommends that fleets currently using 15W-40 engine oil consult with their engine supplier(s) to identify approved 5W/10W-30 oils for their vehicles. They should then work with their oil supplier to find an acceptable ROI of cost vs. fuel savings, with a conservative assumption for fuel-economy improvement.

Upcoming Confidence Reports will address parasitic loss from engine accessories and two-truck platooning.

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HDA Truck Pride Names Chief Commercial Officer

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Photo: Tom Tecklenburg

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Photo: Tom Tecklenburg

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Tom Tecklenburg has been named the chief commercial officer of HDA Truck Pride, effective July 5.

Tecklenburg will lead strategy and growth, and use his experience to position the group's membership for profitable growth from domestic and international opportunities in the commercial vehicle market.

He has nearly 30 years of aftermarket experience, holding executive positions at Honeywell and The Timken Company. Tecklenburg has worked in both the aftermarket and original equipment businesses, holding responsibility for product management, supply chain, finance, manufacturing, sales and marketing. He earned an MBA from the University of Dayton and a BA in accounting from Ohio State University.

“Tom is a strategic hire by our board for the succession planning of this organization," said Don Reimondo, president & CEO of HDA Truck Pride. "Knowledge of the commercial and light vehicle markets, coupled with an extensive industry network, make him the ideal candidate to help move HDA Truck Pride forward into the future."

HDA Truck Pride is an independent provider of parts and services to the commercial vehicle aftermarket with over 700 distribution locations and 400 service facilities.

Related: Independent Aftermarket Getting Poised for the Future

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