Field test proves: More safety, lower fuel consumption through ADAS

November 29, 2012 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
In euroFOT road test, truck manufacturer MAN has proved that advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) do not only have a positive impact on safety but also on fuel consumption. Trucks utilizing Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) were able to reduce their fuel consumption by 2%.

In the field test were participating 57 trucks from 21 freight forwarders across Europe. The vehicles were equipped with ACC and Lane Guard System (LGS). Within the test, they drove more an accumulated distance of more than 7.5 million kilometres in long-distance traffic. The purpose of the test was to find out how the usage of advanced driver assistance systems safety and environmental parameters as well as driver's usage and acceptance.

Over the 16 months the test lasted the drivers' behaviour first was analysed without the assistant systems. In the second phase, the same parameters were measured with ADAS activated. Finally the drivers were polled about their subjective impressions, which gave insights into acceptance and usage in everyday driving. An impact analysis concluded the trial.

The trucks were equipped with data loggers which transmitted the relevant data to a central project server. The data material as well as the judgement of the drivers involved showed that the systems had significant positive effects in real-world road traffic.

For instance, the usage of ACC led to a reduction of critical events such as sudden evasive manoeuvres or forced braking by more than 35 percent. In average the number of events when the truck exceeded minimum safety distances to the vehicle in front was reduced by 50 percent. At the same time, the environmental parameters improved: Though the drivers increased their average speed by 1 percent, they were able to reduce their fuel consumption by 2 percent.

The drivers found ACC particularly helpful on track sections where overtaking was prohibited and during night rides.

The euroFOT (First European large-scale Field Operational Test on Driver Assistance Systems) test has been launched in 2008. Since the beginning, more than 1000 trucks and passenger cars have been equipped with a variety of intelligent technologies and tested.