Truck component makers ZF and WABCO have joined forces to create an autonomous braking system called the Evasive Maneuver Assist. The system, which was unveiled on June 28, combines the ReAX steering system from ZF with the OnGuard braking system made by WABCO. Manufacturers believe that it will be ready for production in the next three or four years.
The system works by alerting drivers with visual and audio signals when it finds a stopped vehicle in front of the truck. It detects vehicles on the road through the use of radar, and it will either brake or steer around stopped vehicles depending on what the circumstances dictate. If there is an open lane adjacent to the vehicle and conditions are not favorable for braking, it will steer around autonomously.
If a crash may be prevented by braking or there are no open lanes to steer into, the system will apply the brake as hard as possible. The intent is to either avoid a crash entirely or mitigate the effects of an impact if one has to occur. If done quickly enough, the driver might be able to steer or brake on his or her own depending on what the safest course of action may be.
In an accident involving a tractor-trailer, other drivers, passengers and pedestrians may be injured. If the accident was the result of a drunk truck driver, defective parts or other negligence, the victim may file a personal injury lawsuit. Depending on the circumstances of the crash, the driver's employer may be held responsible if the crash happened in a company truck. A lawyer may review the case to determine what compensation is available to the injured accident victim.