Autocar ADAS makes waste collection safer

As the release of its Advanced Driver Assist System package (ADAS). technology approaches the second anniversary, Autocar is proud to highlight its top features and role in helping refuse operators improve their safety on the roads.  

Each day thousands of refuse trucks go to work collecting waste in cities and residential and rural areas facing different terrains and environments. These environments, along with other vehicles and objects around the truck, all influence the number of accidents involving refuse trucks each year. While operators drive with safety in mind, the unpredictability of the road and severe-duty trucks can threaten the safety of the community and the operator. 

Over the last decade, the use of ADAS in personal vehicles has become commonplace. However, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) in the refuse and recycling industry have only recently adapted the technology to fit the needs of their customers and trucks.

Autocar began development of the ADAS package in 2019. After two years of testing, Autocar became the first OEM to offer ADAS packages on class 8 cabover refuse and recycling trucks in 2021. 

Along with the seamless integration of ADAS into the trucks’ dashboards, Autocar’s ADAS features aim to provide refuse operators and the communities they work with a top-of-the-line safety experience.

“Our investment in ADAS is just one more example of Autocar’s commitment to innovation and solutions. The Autocar ADAS technology allows us to provide refuse and recycling operators and fleets with an active braking system which can help mitigate rear end collisions,” said Tim Thornton, vice president and general manager of refuse at Autocar.

“Autocar’s customer, Waste Pro, was the first to run the ACX cabover units equipped with ADAS. We are proud to lead the industry and to help play a role in improving the safety of our trucks and engineer improvements that will make our industry safer.” 

Available in the ACX chassis for refuse, the ADAS technology includes: 

  • Advanced Emergency Braking System (AEBS): Active braking system that detects an impending collision and engages emergency brakes
  • Forward Collision Warning (FCW): Visible and audible warnings in case of an impending collision
  • Stationary Merge Assistant (SMA): Light on A-pillars that illuminate with an audible warning. Active from near zero mph.
  • Blind Spot Detection (BSD): Flashing light on A-pillar that warns the operator of other vehicles and objects in their blind spot
  • Electronic Stability Controls (ESC): System that actively intervenes to maintain stability when the vehicle is understeering or oversteering
  • Rollover Stability Controls (RSC): Intervention system that deploys when the vehicle is at risk for a rollover event

Autocar is the first OEM to offer an AEBS, and its highly tested stability control systems. The AEBS is an active braking system that deploys in the event of an impending collision. The three-level system begins with an audible and visual warning to the driver, followed by the same warnings plus haptic feedback with a quick tap of the brakes. If the truck’s operator does not intervene after these warnings, the final level of the AEBS will perform a full emergency brake on the truck until there is a safe distance between vehicles. 

Autocar’s innovative design and integration allows customers to use the active braking system with confidence on any body configuration. Autocar’s full ADAS package is available on all refuse and recycling body configurations for the ACX chassis, including commercial front end loaders (FEL) and residential front-end loaders. 

To ensure the reliability of the active braking system, Autocar conducted extensive testing of the Electronic Stability Control (ESC) system. Autocar along with the ZF engineering team, spent over 12 months testing the stability control on the ACX chassis and the different refuse configurations the ADAS technology would be installed on before deployment.