I just knew there had to “be an app for that.” I’m not sure there is—YET. The smart phones now have crash sensors. They can sense when the phone is being dropped and can prepare the circuitry for the shock of hitting the pavement.

There is an app that can help if a person is individually in an accident, such as while bicycling or mountain climbing. I don’t know about you, but I don’t do that very often. But, I do drive a car all the time, as in 1+ hour each and every day. And, were I a truck driver, I’d be driving 10-11 hours per day. A few trucks, especially Volvo’s where it is standard, have air bags with crash sensors in them. ABS is required in all vehicles today and some have accelerometers in them. When new trucks come out later this year, they will be outfitted with stability control, which will have extra sensors and, could, detect a crash. But, they would not necessarily be able to transmit the information to someone else.

Later this year, we will see hundreds of thousands of new Electronic Logging Devices employed and another million or so updated over the next two years. A few of these systems are tied into a smartphone for implementation. I’ve been forecasting at TMC Future Truck committee meetings that we will see a plethora of new features and functions as the purveyors try to differentiate themselves and find ways to get more money. One such feature they should all consider is making use of the accelerometer in the smartphone. There must be a way that it can detect a crash in a truck and be programmed to send a message to emergency personnel, the fleet management, and loved ones.

I can also imagine that I could mount the smartphone on the dash and be able to sense vibrations in the vehicle and begin to diagnose problems with steering alignment, for instance.

Let’s call it a Crash Reactive Accelerometer Sensor for Heavy-duty (CRASH) or something like that.