U.S. Transportation Secretary Slater Announces $12.7 Million in Grants For Advanced Technology Vehicle Tests

Monday, November 8, 1999
Contact: Virginia Miller
Tel.: (202) 366-0660
FHWA 73-99

TORONTO, Ontario—U.S. Secretary of Transportation Rodney E. Slater today announced four federal Intelligent Vehicle Initiative (IVI) grants totaling $12.7 million. The grants, when combined with $7.7 million from partners, will fund operational tests of advanced safety systems addressing large truck rollover, rear-end collisions, roadway departure collisions, advanced braking and hazard warning.

"These tests of high-tech equipment once again underscore our effort to improve safety, which is President Clinton’s highest transportation priority," Secretary Slater said. "This equipment is intended to enhance a driver’s ability to operate large trucks safely and thus prevent crashes, save lives and reduce injuries."

Freightliner Corporation will lead a partnership to test a "Rollover Stability Advisor" to address large truck rollovers. The operational test will be conducted in the Midwest. The other firms in this partnership include Praxair, Inc. (a hazardous materials fleet operator and trailer manufacturer); Roaduser International; and the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute.

Volvo Trucks North America, Inc., will lead a partnership to operationally test large trucks equipped with a collision warning system and an advanced braking system. The other firms in this partnership include U.S. Xpress Leasing, Inc. (a fleet operator) and North Carolina A&T University. This test will be conducted throughout the United States.

Mack Trucks, Inc., will operationally test an infrastructure-assisted hazard warning system for commercial vehicles. This test will be conducted in the southeastern United States. The other organizations in this partnership are McKenzie Tank Lines, Inc., (a fleet operator) and the Virginia Department of Transportation.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation will lead a partnership which will operationally test a fleet of snowplows equipped with collision warning and lateral guidance. Others in this partnership include Altra Technology, Navistar International, the University of Minnesota and 3M.

Rollover crashes in 1997 accounted for 14 percent of fatal and nine percent of injury crashes, according to the department’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Approximately one-half of the large truck driver fatalities in 1997 occurred in rollover crashes. Rear-end collisions in which a large truck struck the rear of another vehicle accounted for 300 or 6 percent of fatal crashes involving large trucks. One out of eight traffic fatalities in 1997 resulted from a collision involving a large truck.

The IVI is a vehicle component of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) program, authorized in the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21), which was signed into law by President Clinton in 1998. The mission of the IVI is to accelerate consumer market availability of advanced safety systems.

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