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FMCSA approves new camera monitoring system as alternative to conventional rear-vision mirrors

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WASHINGTON — The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has approved an exemption application from Stoneridge Inc. that will allow the company’s MirrorEye Camera Monitor System (CMS) to be installed as an alternative to conventional rear-vision mirrors currently required on commercial motor vehicles in the United States.

The decision will apply solely to Stoneridge’s MirrorEye system, making it the only CMS that allows for complete removal of traditional mirrors in the U.S., said a Stoneridge news release.

“This decision will help bring an innovative driver vision technology to market that will greatly improve the safety of everyone who shares the road,” said Jon DeGaynor, Stoneridge president and CEO. “The MirrorEye Camera Monitor System empowers truck drivers to avoid potential collisions by the elimination of certain blind spots, expansion of their field of view and increased awareness of the truck’s surroundings. This exemption allows our customers to fully recognize both the safety and fuel economy benefits of MirrorEye.”

In granting the exemption, FMCSA noted the MirrorEye CMS consists of multiple digital cameras mounted on the exterior of the CMV and enclosed in an aerodynamic package that provides both environmental protection for the cameras and a mounting location for optimal visibility.

FMCSA said each camera has video processing software that presents a clear, high-definition image to the driver by means of a monitor mounted to each A-pillar of the CMV, i.e., the structural member between the windshield and door of the cab.

The agency said Stoneridge explained in its exemption request that attaching the monitors to the A-pillars avoids the creation of incremental blind spots while eliminating the blind spots associated with conventional mirrors.

Stoneridge told FMCSA that its technology meets or exceeds the visibility requirements provided in federal trucking regulations based on several factors:

  • Greater field of view than conventional mirrors. Mirrors are replaced by wide angle, narrow angle and look-down cameras, expanding the field of view by an estimated 25 percent.
  • Fail-safe design. The system has independent video processing of multiple camera images so that in the unlikely event of an individual camera failure, the other camera images continue to be displayed, ensuring that real-time images are displayed without interruption.
  • Augmented and enhanced vision quality. The use of high-definition digital cameras provides for color night vision, low light sensitivity and trailer panning capabilities. This assists with night driving, operating under other low lighting conditions, and provides for glare reduction.
  • Trailer panning. The CMS automatically tracks the end of the trailer to keep it in view while the vehicle is moving forward. Stoneridge believes this feature could eliminate collisions associated with the CMV driver making a right-hand turn, and incidents where the CMV strikes a pedestrian or bicyclist while making right-hand turns.

DeGaynor thanked trucking industry leaders who have tested, provided input and helped validate the effectiveness and reliability of the technology.

“Stoneridge would like to especially acknowledge the American Trucking Associations, Truckload Carriers Association, Trucking Alliance, Spangenberg Partners and numerous individuals of the trucking community who have supported our mission of improved safety,” he said.

Last April, FMCSA said it had asked for public comments on the exemption request.

ATA told the agency that granting this and similar petitions for exemption from federal requirements that currently are barriers to mirrorless technology would provide valuable real-world experience and data to inform future regulatory action to allow CMS technology as an alternative to rear view mirrors for all vehicle types, noting that motor carriers and truck manufacturers recognize the potential of CMS to improve both safe operations and fuel efficiency when compared with traditional exterior mirrors.

Schneider and J.B. Hunt both told FMCSA they had been using the MirrorEye CMS, in addition to the required mirrors, in a select number of vehicles.

“Both motor carriers support granting Stoneridge’s application,” FMCSA said in granting the exemption.

“Schneider states that its drivers using the MirrorEye CMS have (1) had an overwhelmingly positive experience,” and (2) confirmed some of the benefits touted by Stoneridge in its application, including improved visibility in night driving and low-light conditions, improved visibility due to auto tracking of the trailer, and reduced driver distraction due to light and glare reduction.”

J.B. Hunt commented that “we have not been involved in any collisions and have received overwhelming positive feedback from our test drivers,” adding that its drivers noted benefits such as “real time, excellent monitor image clarity with improved field of vision around their tractors and trailing units and elimination of the tractor’s problematic front passenger side blind spot.”

The FMCSA said Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety had opposed the exemption request “on the basis that the application is overly broad,” noting that the regulations governing requests for exemption require applications to include “an estimate of the number of drivers and commercial motor vehicles that would be operated under the terms and conditions of the exemption,” which in this case could encompass every CMV and driver presently on the U.S. roads.

“We must oppose such an overly broad exemption which would apply for at least five years,” Advocates said in its comment.

The organization added that while opposed to the application, it recognized the potential benefits of the technology, and instead urged the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and FMCSA “to establish a pilot program study the benefits of using cameras to enhance commercial vehicle driver visibility as this technology has the potential to reduce or eliminate the large and dangerous blind zones around CMVs.”

“MirrorEye technology was designed and improved based on real input from commercial vehicles drivers during testing,” said Stephen Fox, vice president of business development at Stoneridge. “We have collected a tremendous amount of data and challenged the system in real-life scenarios. We are fully confident MirrorEye CMS will provide exceptional reliability and resolve many of the safety issues commercial vehicle drivers currently face.”

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Equipment

Cummins X12+Endurant powertrain now available in regional haul applications

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Regional haul applications is a new market for the X12 engine, which has exclusively been available in vocational and refuse trucks before now. (Courtesy: CUMMINS)

COLUMBUS, Ind. — Cummins said Friday that the X12+Endurant powertrain from its integrated power portfolio is now available for customers in regional haul applications.

Cummins officials said the powertrain delivers the lightest solution to the regional haul market in terms of maintenance intervals.

Following Freightliner’s announcement at Tank Truck Week in Nashville, Tennessee, this lightweight powertrain from Cummins can be now be ordered in Freightliner’s brand new Cascadia 116” BBC Day Cab.

This is a new market for the X12 engine, which has exclusively been available in vocational and refuse trucks before now.

“The X12+Endurant powertrain’s lightweight, yet durable design allows customers to maximize their payload for each and every job,” said Amy Boerger, vice P\president – engine business sales for Cummins. “We wanted to create the optimal powertrain solution for customers with weight-sensitive applications, and we are confident this is it.”

At just over 2,700 pounds, the X12 paired with the Eaton Cummins Endurant transmission is expected to be to be the lightest powertrain available for the Class 8 on-highway market, Boerger said.

“It is a perfect match for weight-sensitive markets like bulk and regional haul applications. Driver-friendly features from the Endurant transmission like smooth shifting and quiet engine performance contribute to a comfortable in-cab environment, while Optimized Urge to Move and Creep Mode make maneuvering in low-speed environments easier,” she said.

“We are thrilled that the X12 will now be available in the Freightliner Cascadia 116 BBC model,” said Paul Rosa, Penske Truck Leasing senior vice president of procurement and fleet planning. “This new offering makes for a great weight-conscious solution and will be a nice option for our customers.”

Expanded availability of the X12 comes at the perfect time, as Cummins is expanding maintenance intervals for the platform, Boerger said, adding that customers can benefit from oil-drain intervals of up to 75,000 miles, and those that participate in Cummins OilGuard program may see extensions of up to 100,000 miles.

“Together with the Endurant, which offers a 750,000 mile lube change interval and a maintenance-free clutch, you have a powertrain with the industry’s best maintenance intervals,” Boerger said.

The 116” BBC day cab Cascadia with the Cummins X12 and Eaton Cummins Endurant begins production mid-2020.

The Freightliner Cascadia is also available with the Cummins X15 Efficiency series engine and

the Eaton Cummins Endurant in the 126” BBC day cab and sleeper models.

For more information about Cummins, visit www.cummins.com.

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Cummins: Diesel platform expanding for 2020, includes X15 Efficiency Series

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The 2020 X15 Efficiency Series engine is designed with customers’ total cost of ownership in mind. Base engine hardware improvements and advancements in air handling deliver up to a 3.5% better fuel economy when compared to the 2017 X15 Efficiency Series engine model.  (Courtesy: CUMMINS)

ATLANTA — Global power provider Cummins displayed a full showcase of power solutions, ranging from advanced diesel engines and powertrain components to connectivity solutions as well as electric and fuel cell technologies at the 2019 North American Commercial Vehicle Show at Atlanta recently.

“We want our customers to be successful,” said Brett Merritt, vice president – on-highway engine business at Cummins. “Cummins is committed to offering a diverse power portfolio to ensure each of our customers is equipped with the right technology at the right time to get their jobs done.”

Merritt said Cummins diesel engine platforms are expanding for 2020, providing customers with dependable, efficient solutions for line-haul, regional-haul, heavy-haul, vocational and specialty applications. The X15 engine offering for 2020 includes a new X15 Efficiency Series engine, a new Productivity Series offering and the Performance Series engine customers currently utilize. And with the expanding availability of the X12 engine, customers have access to the broadest ratings in the heavy-duty diesel space.

“We believe that diesel technology will be the best solution for many of the markets we serve for decades to come,” Merritt said. “That’s why we continue to invest in and innovate our diesel platforms.”

The 2020 X15 Efficiency Series engine is designed with customers’ total cost of ownership in mind. Base engine hardware improvements and advancements in air handling deliver up to a 3.5% better fuel economy when compared to the 2017 X15 Efficiency Series engine model.  The X15 platform now offers industry-leading oil drain intervals of up to 75,000 miles.  Extensions of up to 80,000 miles with the use of Valvoline Premium Blue oil and up to 100,000 miles through the Cummins OilGuard program are available for improved uptime.

The 2020 X15 Efficiency Series also boasts new EX ratings which deliver expanded powertrain capabilities that can deliver up to an additional 1.5% fuel efficiency increase on top of the improvements gained through base engine hardware and feature enhancements.

These ratings contain the full suite of powertrain features, including not only all prior ADEPT features but also new capabilities such as predictive gear shifting, predictive braking, dynamic power and industry-exclusive on-ramp boost, delivering powertrain performance and driver satisfaction across an entire fleet. Many of the powertrain features in the EX ratings are only available with the X15 Efficiency Series engine when paired with the Endurant transmission from the Eaton Cummins Automated Transmission Technologies joint venture.

The new X15 Productivity Series ratings are designed for multi-purpose, vocational and heavy-haul customers who look not only for efficiency in their powertrain but also the response and performance needed to get the job done thanks to a wider engine speed range.

In 2020, Cummins is offering the same X15 Performance Series engine customers have used in the past. With no changes to the product in 2020, the X15 Performance Series still dominates the big-bore industry with exceptional transient response and the most powerful engine brakem Merritt said.

Cummins’ X12 engine continues to be an ideal solution for customers with weight-sensitive applications. Designed for customers with regional-haul, vocational and intermodal truck applications in mind, the X12 engine is the lightest in its class, Merritt said.

“When paired with the Endurant transmission, Cummins offers the lightest powertrain in the industry, with unbeatable maintenance intervals across the system,” he said. “This engine rounds out Cummins’ heavy-duty diesel offering, helping customers get the job done, day-in and day-out.”

 

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Alliance Parts expands footprint by adding 15 locations in U.S., Canada

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Customers of Alliance Parts will find an ever-increasing inventory of new and remanufactured parts available in-store and online. (Courtesy: TREY MYTTY/Truck Center Companies)

PORTLAND, Ore. — Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) Alliance Parts brand continues to expand its retail footprint to better serve customers by adding 15 new locations during October and November. Three standalone stores and 12 in-dealership retail locations opened across the U.S. and Canada, including standalone stores in Carrefour du Camion in St. Quentin, Quebec, Canada; Houston Freightliner in Lufkin, Texas; and Centre du Camion in Mont-Laurier, Quebec, Canada.

Recently opened Alliance Parts retail areas include locations at dealerships in Baltimore Freightliner in Baltimore; ATG Tri State Trucks in Westminster, Vermont; Garage Gilles Roy in St. Georges, Quebec, Canada; Freightliner of Toledo in Toledo, Ohio; Transwest in Grand Junction, Colorado; Transwest in Greeley, Colorado; Transwest in Frederick, Colorado; H&H Freightliner in Hope Mills, North Carolina; Campbell Freightliner in South Brunswick, New Jersey; Southport Truck Group in Tampa, Florida; Boston Freightliner in Everett, Massachusetts; and Truck Center Companies in Salina, Kansas.

“Our priority is keeping customers on the road, so we are increasing our retail footprint in order to meet customers where they are and provide quality parts at the right price,” said Brad Williamson, director of marketing, Alliance Parts & Detroit Reman. “Alliance Parts is committed to creating a superior experience for our customers that helps them maximize their Uptime.”

Customers of Alliance Parts will find an ever-increasing inventory of new and remanufactured parts available in-store and online, Williamson said. Recently added parts offerings from Alliance Parts, include height control valves, fuel pumps, water pumps, Detroit-branded carriers, composite bumpers and 14-gauge stainless steel bumper guards.

Detroit trailers are available for nearly all medium- and heavy-duty vehicles. New, composite bumpers feature quick and easy installation with guaranteed fitment and are color-matched to the original grey bumper or easily painted on request. Alliance Parts’ new bumper guards fit 90 percent of both DTNA trucks as well as all makes and are interchangeable, rust resistant and include tow hooks.

All Alliance Parts meet or exceed original equipment specifications for quality, fit and finish and are backed by a one year/unlimited mile nationwide warranty, Williamson said.

Alliance Parts are now available at more than 800 locations with more locations opening in the near future. Matched with the all-new e-commerce platform from DTNA, Excelerator, Alliance Parts’ increasing retail footprint and growing portfolio of parts are helping to drive the Uptime revolution.

Founded in 1998 and headquartered in Fort Mill, South Carolina, Alliance Parts offers parts for nearly all heavy-duty truck makes and models.

Go to www.AllianceParts.com for a complete list of Alliance Parts locations and available products.

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