When a tractor-trailer overturns, drivers behind the wheel almost 50-50 chance live or die – but one company has developed a trailer hitch plate designed to prevent loads from tipping over, even in the face of the mighty blast of a jet engine.
Axicle, a California company, has been talking about its Tractor Anti-Roll System (TARS) safety device for over a year, but now there’s actually a video that shows just how bad this bad boy is supposed to work, News Atlas reports.
Here’s a bit more about how it works:
The company’s fifth wheel hitch plate is equipped with a Tractor Roll Anti-Roll System (TARS), which includes an inertial measurement unit and sensors to detect hitch information, vibration and wind, and engage a release mechanism if a rollover incident is detected. In the space of a millisecond, he can detach the trailer from the back of the truck and hold the cab (and driver) upright.
To demonstrate the capabilities of its technology, Axicle has set up a demonstration bites a semi against a Boeing 777 jet engine pointed directly at the trailer. You can check out the full video on YouTube:
Of course, this is a highly edited video that does not show a live view of exactly what happened when the semi takes the jet engine out. From what we can see, the rig resists the force of the air for a few seconds before it starts to rock. The TARS then activates, decoupling the trailer from the cabin. The load tips to the side while the cabin remains upright. In a real situation, this would mean that the trucker and his taxi would have survived.
Axicle founder Steve Krug told News Atlas that TARS has driven 100 miles of test drives, which he hopes to use as leverage to attract investors, allowing his company to set up a manufacturing business. and large-scale trials.
Truckers involved in a semi-rollover have a 47% chance of dying compared to the 20% of car or SUV drivers who die in rollovers, the IIHS Reports. The sheer size of the loaded tractor-trailer, along with the precarious weight of its loads, makes it a prime target for an unstoppable rollover. Many of these rollovers are caused by high winds that push the semi-trailer load to the side and drag the cab with it.
Axicle says he hopes his device will prevent 9,000 truck driver deaths and injuries in the United States alone. If it works here, chances are we’ll see it implemented worldwide.