Since approximately 2003, there has been an increasing interest in onboard truck safety technologies. At different times, entities such as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), American Trucking Associations (ATA), and the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) have undertaken different survey projects to document and understand onboard safety technology applications. While a wide variety of data has been collected by these projects, there has been little effort to aggregate data across projects. This synthesis was completed in 2005, and includes the analysis of over 11 survey, interview, and focus group instruments; representing 558 respondents and 56 unique questions. The results indicated that while the existing research addressed many issues related to carrier purchase and use of technologies, there was a considerable gap in research addressing driver attitudes, experiences, and preferences.
As of 2005, satellite or cellular communication between terminal and vehicle and GPS were the technologies most commonly used by carriers. Most carriers who had a safety technology installed on their fleet had already realized the desired safety benefits. Cost and lack of clear data about benefits were the two biggest factors preventing wider installation of safety technologies.
Motor carriers were asked to indicate which, if any, technologies they planned to install in some or all of their fleet vehicles in the future. The most commonly selected technologies were automatic collision notification (ACN) systems/mayday systems (26 percent), remote diagnostic systems (23 percent), and rollover stability systems (23 percent). This is consistent with the technologies that carriers indicated they were most familiar with. Two surveys asked carriers what the motivation was for safety technology installation. A clear majority of the respondents indicated that crash reduction (68%) and lower insurance rates (52%) were key benefits.