Safety and autonomous trucking drive new standards for tractor-trailer hookups
Smaller gaps between truck and trailer help fuel economy but raise the difficulty of drop-and-hook operations
As the gaps between tractors and trailers shrink through aerodynamic design, making connections safer is only one concern for standards-writing engineers who must account for autonomous trucking in the near future.
The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) is developing new standards for hookups that tackle two contentious issues: tractor-trailer interconnection that let the two units communicate, and the best way to electronically couple them to reduce driver injury.
“There is little consensus on a common connector system for the future,” said Dave Englebert, chair of the SAE Truck and Bus Brake and Tractor-Trailer Interconnect group. “It is very political.”
For example, a global solution is needed to harmonize European trailers that connect with North American tractors sold in Australia, said Matthew Fry, an engineering manager Knorr-Bremse Group AG, the German industrial holding company and parent of Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems. According to Adler’s article.
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Source and credits: freightwaves.com // iTrucker / Mario Pawlowski