The EU commissioner Günter Verheugen started a new initiative for the adoption of driver assistance systems for heavy trucks and busses.
The aim of the campaign is the reduction of severe accidents caused by rear-ending or driving off the road.
A recent study implies that modern driver assistance systems could avoid about one third of the accidents. Systems such as adaptive cruise control, lane keeping and electronic stability programs (ESP) have reached technical maturity and reliability in the field. However, only about 5% of the heavy trucks and busses are bought with these systems installed.
Since the beginning of 2008 the BGF (German association of commercial vehicle owners) has provided a financial incentive to the equipment of new heavy trucks and busses with the above mentioned driver assistance systems.
The fleet of vehicles equipped will now be monitored over the next 3 years and compared to a similar set of non-equipped vehicles. The result is expected to further the research into the safety effect of driver assistance and the acceptance of the systems to drivers and vehicle owners.