Most professional truck drivers interviewed in Ohio and California expressed favorable views of on-board connected vehicle safety applications installed on Class 8 commercial vehicles.

Experience with V2V and V2I safety applications on commercial vehicles

East Liberty,Ohio,United States; Alameda Point,California,United States

Summary Information

This project tested the performance of connected vehicle safety applications installed on Class 8 commercial motor vehicles and evaluated driver satisfaction with these technologies in Ohio and California under the Connected Commercial Vehicle Safety Applications Development Program sponsored by the US DOT. The system used on-board computers, GPS technology, and DSRC (5.9 GHz) to transmit Basic Safety Messages (BSM) and activate collision warning systems as needed to warn drivers of potential dangers of approaching vehicles in an obstructed view.


In the summer of 2012 driver acceptance clinics were conducted in California and Ohio to introduce the system to 112 professional truck drivers who were previously unfamiliar with the system. At each clinic, participants drove equipped vehicles on a test track where applications could be demonstrated in a controlled environment and drivers could be subject to a number of repeatable driving scenarios. A test conductor rode in the passenger seat of each vehicle and then at the conclusion of testing drivers were surveyed to collect information on their overall experience and perceptions.

Test vehicles:
  • Two heavy vehicles were equipped with connect vehicle technology. In each heavy vehicle a computer tablet was installed to the right of the steering wheel to display safety messages to the driver. In addition, safety alerts generated by each application were amplified using the vehicle's stereo system.
  • One light vehicle (passenger vehicle) equipped with connected vehicle technology was used as a remote vehicle to trigger safety applications on each tractor.
  • One small van truck (with 10 foot bed) was used to obstruct the view between the tractor and the passenger vehicle.
  • Test Scenarios:
  • Intersection Movement Assist (IMA): A heavy vehicle rolls into an intersection with an obstructed passenger vehicle approaching.
  • Forward Collision Warning (FCW): A heavy vehicle encounters a stopped passenger vehicle in the same lane.
  • Emergency Electronic Brake Light (EEBL): A heavy vehicle is following a van truck that changes lanes to reveal a stopped passenger vehicle.
  • Blind Spot Warning, Lane Change Warning (BSW/LCW): A passenger vehicle is in the blind spot of a heavy vehicle.

Based on the results of post-drive written questionnaires and in-depth interviews that invited a free-form response, the independent evaluator found that most participants expressed favorable views of the system. Most common compliments included:
  • "Must have"
  • "At last? or “About time"
  • "Better system than I expected. Very impressed."
  • "Very, very good thing. No unexpected rear end [crash]."
  • "The technology was excellent. The equipment was very good."
  • "I like the fact that the driver is still in control, and the truck doesn’t try to drive the situation."
  • "I would buy this,? or “I would want my employer to buy this."
  • "[Even considering its flaws], any increase in safety would be worth it."

In addition to compliments, several participants shared concerns with over-reliance on using dashboard located indicators as a means to identify threats. Representative comments included:
  • "Want eyes out the window"
  • "Experienced drivers should use their mirrors and not the BSW"
  • "Audio [warning] more important than visual [warning]."

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Connected Commercial Vehicles—Integrated Truck Project Driver Clinics, Performance Tests, and Lessons Learned Final Report

Author: Pape, Doug; Jason Holdridge; and Denny Stephens

Published By: U.S. DOT Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)

Prepared by Battelle for the FHWA

Source Date: 01/31/2014

Other Reference Number: Report No. FHWA-JPO-13-110



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Benefit ID: 2016-01081