ANN ARBOR (WWJ) — Con-way Freight, the less-than-truckload freight subsidiary of Ann Arbor-based Con-way Inc., has installed in-cab monitors in its 8,600-truck fleet.

The monitors record activity in the cab and in front of the truck. Con-way says the recording is continuously erased unless triggered by an event such as hard braking, hard turning or rapid deceleration.

When activated, the unit saves a 12-second audio and visual recording — eight seconds before and four seconds after the event. The recording is uploaded via cell phone to the company.

Con-way said the recordings would be “shared with drivers to recognize exceptional defensive-driving performance which avoided an accident or incident, and provide coaching to identify opportunities to improve driving skills.”

Con-way is also installing what it calls “real-time on-board performance management” that offers realtime feedback to help the driver employ best practices for fuel-efficient driving, including shifting ranges and the pace of acceleration.

The new technologies join Con-way’s existing safety technologies — forward-looking radar collision avoidance and adaptive cruise control; lane departure warning systems; and roll stability control, which senses conditions that make a rollover likely, such as during hard cornering or change of direction, and alerts the driver and automatically decreases engine torque to reduce rollover tendency.

Con-way says early results with the event recorders show that as more drivers receive coaching, the number of safety-related events and the severity of events decline. Combined with other fuel-saving initiatives, the on-board performance management system is expected to gradually improve fuel economy by as much as 4 percent as drivers learn and apply its coaching features. Companywide, that would reduce diesel fuel use by 3.6 million gallons, eliminating 80 million pounds of CO2 emissions.

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