Monthly Archives: November 2014

New safety system could help lower trucking accidents

Detroit (formerly Detroit Diesel) showed off last week its new Assurance safety system, an active system that uses radar to scan the highway in front of a truck to adjust cruising speed, alert drivers of fast closure rate and brake autonomously, if needed, to avoid a crash. Daimler Trucks North America, parent company of Detroit, introduced the system earlier this year. But the company showed off the system to industry press last week outside of Miami, Fla.

See a video of Daimler’s new active safety system here.

The system will be available in the first quarter of next year on the Cascadia and Cascadia Evolution tractors. The Assurance system integrates fully with Detroit’s DD series engines and the DT12 automated-manual transmission.

If the truck’s adaptive cruise mode is on, the Assurance system will adjust to slower moving traffic ahead and automatically return to speed if traffic begins moving faster. If it detects a faster closure rate, it will mute the stereo in the truck and sound an audio alarm. If the closure continues, the system will tell the engine to decrease the throttle to slow the tractor. If the closure rate continues, the system will engage the truck’s brakes, downshift the transmission and initiate the engine brake.

The system also gives drivers flexibility. If in tight traffic, the system can be deactivated for up to 15 minutes, if the truck remains under 49 mph.

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Starbucks so busy it’s creating traffic concerns

In Plant City, FL, just east of Tampa, the state is planning improvements at Thonotosassa Road and Interstate 4 to ease congestion around Starbucks that’s likely to get worse when a convenience store opens next door. The Florida Department of Transportation’s plan includes closing the median opening on Thonotosassa Road across from Starbucks and realigning the eastbound I-4 exit ramp, which is just north of the coffee shop.

The work will start next June or July. The completion date has not been set, DOT spokeswoman Kris Carson said.

The Wawa is expected to open soon and will share a driveway with Starbucks. The coffee shop at 2701 Thonotosassa Road recently filed plans with the city to alleviate congestion by adding parking and relocating its drive-through, among other changes.starbucks

The state’s plans include:

  • Adding a traffic signal at the eastbound exit ramp
  • Realigning the exit ramp so it will have two southbound lanes and one northbound lane
  • Resurfacing Thonotosassa in the area and adding sidewalks on both sides of the road
  • Lengthening northbound U-turn and southbound U-turn lanes near the interchange.

DOT estimates it will spend nearly $800,000 to design and construct the improvements, Carson said. Again, the DOT is spending almost a million dollars to correct a full on traffic problem that has been caused by one coffee shop? Seem excessive? Some may say yes, other may get in line for another cup. One thing’s for sure, people love their coffee. Personally, I just like to laugh when they misspell my name on the cup.