Level 2 Autonomy is the Ultimate Driver’s Assistant

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Source: The following is excerpted from a Fleet Equipment post by David Sickels on the efficacy of Level 2 safety systems in today’s commercial vehicles.

Level 2 automation has been a game-changer in terms of safety for about a decade now, and manufacturers continue to churn out better versions of this technology every year.

Active steering, automatic emergency braking—you’ve heard the terms and you have a good sense of what they do, but how do the companies behind this technology actually make it work? And what needs to happen before companies can produce the next upgrade?

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That’s what we’re here to find out.

Level 2 101

Level 2 safety systems are developed with the goal of mitigating collisions and enhancing the driver experience through automated assistance. Level 2 advanced driver assistance systems can control both steering and braking/accelerating simultaneously under certain circumstances, like adaptive cruise control, collision mitigation and lane departure warning. This is different than Level 1 systems, which can only sometimes assist the driver with either steering or braking/accelerating, but not simultaneously (think standard cruise control).

OEMs have embraced this technology not only as a way to reduce collisions, but as an enticing recruitment feature for many new drivers. You may have heard of Volvo Active Driver Assist (VADA) 2.0—which is now standard on new Volvo trucks (the VNR, VNL and VNX) starting with the 2020 model year – and Detroit Assurance 5.0, available on model year 2020 Freightliner Cascadia trucks. These are Volvo’s and Daimler Trucks North America’s latest suites of Level 2 safety systems.

What makes Level 2 automation possible

These systems work by integrating software with the truck’s hardware, primarily radar, cameras and brakes. Through this marriage, Volvo’s VADA 2.0, which was developed in partnership with Bendix, is capable of features like improved Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB), Adaptive Cruise Control with Cruise Auto Resume (ACC) and Highway Departure Warning and Braking (HDB).

“The camera acts as a second set of eyes with a 42-degree-angle field of view. The radar detects metallic objects and the camera identifies the object and confirms if it is eligible for Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB),” says Ash Makki, product marketing manager for Volvo Trucks North America. “The improvement of the AEB, Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) and Highway Departure Warning and Braking (HDB) relies on improving the capability of the radar and the camera, and minimizing false positives through validation. The current VADA 2.0 AEB is capable of bringing a fully-loaded Volvo truck from a speed of 50 MPH to 0 to mitigate, or possibly eliminate, a rear-end collision.”

Detroit Assurance 5.0 also includes a variety of features that include Adaptive Cruise Control to 0 MPH, Side Guard Assist, and Active Lane Assist, which includes Lane Keep Assist and Lane Departure Protection. In previous iterations of Detroit Assurance (2.0 and 4.0), the features were either radar- or camera-based; the features Detroit Assurance 5.0 is capable of are only possible due to the careful melding of radar and high-definition camera technology.

The entire post can be viewed by clicking HERE.

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