Bosch Quantifies Cost Savings for ADAS-Equipped Trucks

Bosch research finds lateral actuator systems may reduce costs associated with property damage by up to 35 percent for Class 7 and 8 trucks.

Bosch’s lateral actuator system is part of the Detroit Assurance 5.0 package on Freightliner Cascadia trucks. (Daimler Trucks North America)

Heavy-duty trucks still are disproportionately involved in deadly crashes on U.S. roadways. “Ten percent of the fatalities involve large trucks when large trucks only account for 4% of the registered vehicles,” Kevin Chronicle, who’s responsible for commercial-vehicle strategy in North America for Bosch, said at the 2021 SAE Government/Industry Digital Summit.

The Bosch Servotwin electrohydraulic steering system for heavy commercial vehicles offers speed-dependent steering support and consumes less fuel than purely hydraulic steering. (Bosch)

New accident research from Bosch reveals that equipping heavy trucks with advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) such as lateral actuator systems may significantly reduce the costs of accidents influenced by heavy trucks. Lateral actuator systems are ADAS solutions that provide automated steering input for functions like Lane Change Assist (LCA) and Lane Keeping Support (LKS).

The Bosch accident research, “Safety + Enhanced Driver Comfort: Steering in Commercial Vehicle ADAS Systems,” finds that lateral actuator systems in Class 7 and 8 trucks can reduce the costs of accidents by up to $0.04 per mile, or $3,700 annually per heavy truck.

“Increasing levels of automation and driver assistance help to reduce accidents and make drivers’ lives easier,” said Kevin O’Keefe, regional president of Automotive Steering for Bosch in North America. “The Bosch accident research findings illustrate how features like Lane Change Assist and Lane Keeping Support can contribute positively in multiple ways – reducing property damage, injuries and fatalities.”

Calculating Field of Effect

The Bosch Servotwin electrohydraulic steering system features active pull compensation that can reduce driver strain. (Bosch)
A Field of Effect (FoE) economic impact breakdown for lateral actuators. (Bosch)
According to Bosch, the full value of systems such as LCA and LKS to help reduce accidents, injuries or fatalities is ultimately incalculable. (Bosch)

The Bosch accident research reviewed public crash data to identify correlating statistics between vehicle types and the severity of crashes. This data was utilized to calculate a Field of Effect (FoE) for accidents involving large trucks. To calculate FoE, crashes were examined that could have been mitigated or avoided by using lateral actuator systems – more specifically, LCA and LKS.

Based on the accident research, the data shows injuries from Class 7 and Class 8 truck crashes could be reduced by up to 23 percent and fatalities by up to 19 percent when they are the accident-triggering vehicle. LCA and LKS systems also could reduce the property damage from Class 7 and Class 8 trucks by up to 35 percent.

The introduction of Level 2 steering systems in North America in 2020 aims to make roadways safer. Safety features such as hydraulic failure detection and added steering assist can support the driver during hydraulic failure or drastic events like tire blowouts. Systems that provide active pull compensation, active steering damping and reduced steering effort also help to increase driver comfort in the cab.

“With active pull compensation, let’s say you’re driving down an embankment for an extended period of time. The steering has a smart algorithm to learn that and adjust – less strain on the driver,” Chronicle said.

Payback for ADAS

Bosch researchers used the KABCO injury scale, developed by the National Safety Council to provide a specific process to classify the costs of crashes, to translate the FoE into a dollar amount. “Police use this when they’re recording crashes. They rate each one into a different category,” Chronicle explained. “For example, fatalities roughly average $12 million per incident.”

The calculation is based on a driving distance of 100,000 miles per year – the Federal Highway Administration’s estimate for long-distance heavy trucks. The research shows lateral actuator systems can help reduce accident-related costs by nearly four cents per mile ($0.037) and up to $3,700 annually per heavy truck.

The research also shows that even at an assumed 50% efficiency of the FoE, the savings from a lateral actuator system could total more than $9,000 per truck in five years. “We can say with high confidence that the payback period is less than two years when investing in a lateral actuator system,” Chronicle said.

“The full value when injuries or fatalities from vehicular accidents are avoided is ultimately incalculable,” O’Keefe said. “Safety technologies like LCA and LKS help to reduce accidents, which is the ultimate goal across the commercial vehicle industry.”