April 2018

Fleet Management News & Business Info | Commercial Carrier Journal

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commercial carrier journal | april 2018 21 JASON CANNON is Equipment Editor of Commercial Carrier Journal. E-mail or call (205) 248-1175. Starsky co-founder Stefan Seltz-Axmacher tells me his goal for the plat- form is to allow drivers located in a central office to bring multiple units up to highway speed before handing control over to the autonomous system. "e [remote driver] should be monitoring the truck at the beginning and end of the trip," Seltz-Axmacher says. "Once the truck is in full autonomous mode, the guy in the office should be paying atten- tion to a number of other trucks." Think of it like a security guard in a control room. To monitor every room in an office complex manually, you would need multiple guards. If each room is equipped with a camera, one person can oversee multiple rooms. The company's aftermarket retrofit kit robotically controls the throttle, steering and transmission, mirroring the driver's input from the office. The remote driver uses information from the truck's cameras and data feed to get a sense of the vehicle's surroundings. Last year, Starsky began using self-driv- ing trucks in yards and major freight lanes, hauling everything from 5,000 pounds of milk crates to 40,000 pounds of tile. In September, Starsky claimed the longest end-to-end autonomous trip at the time, haul- ing Hurricane Irma recovery aid, including water, 68 miles through Florida with a person in the cab but without their intervention. Two months ago, that person stepped out of the cab and let the technology do all the work. It was only seven miles, and it was a bobtail unit, but Starsky's test demon- strates to the other 40-plus states with less-autonomous-friendly rules that the technology is ready to hit the road, and it shows that it can be demon- strated with some degree of reliability. Driverless driving never will make any sense if two- thirds of the interstate system is blocked by legislation. We have a long way to go in making autonomous driving an everyday reality, but as of February 2018, we're seven miles closer. WANT MORE EQUIPMENT NEWS? Scan the barcode to sign up for the CCJ Equipment Weekly e-mail newsletter or go to Trailer lamps can be lower for aero devices S temco received a five-year exemp- tion that allows rear identification lights and rear clearance lamps to be mounted lower than currently allowed by regulations in order for TrailerTail aerodynamic devices to be mounted at the top of trailers, which the company says makes the devices more efficient. e ex- emption went into effect Feb. 14 and is good through Feb. 14, 2023. e Federal Motor Carrier Safety Ad- ministration said that because all trailers are required to have red and white reflective sheeting or reflectors, the lights do not have to be positioned at the top. Stemco had been mounting its TrailerTail devices between 1½ and 3½ inches below the top. – Matt Cole Sears Seating, Mack team for truck seat P roduct design teams from Sears Seating and Mack Trucks have co-developed an exclu- sive truck seat aimed at reducing driver fatigue. e new contemporary design includes longer seat cushions, taller seat backrests and adjust- able bolsters. "By working with our customer to produce seats that offer operators greater comfort, stability, rigidity and overall better ride per- formance, we help Mack put trucks in their customers' fleets that drivers will want to drive and operate safely," said Kent Wichelt, Sears Seating president. – Jason Cannon Stemco said its TrailerTail devices should be mounted flush with the top of trailers for max- imum aerody- namic efficiency. The new con- temporary Sears Seating design is unique to Mack's Anthem and Granite models.

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