NHTSA’s cost estimates for rear guards seem to be purposefully overestimated. These guards will be on the roadways for 30 years and projected materials and weight to mileage costs should be included in estimates for future and not just current costs. Lighter, stronger, and cheaper materials exist now and are in process to be incorporated in automotive manufacturing. We also have dirt cheap guards from China through Alibaba and other outlets. Manufacturing plants from U.S. automakers already exist in China as do parts contracts and partnerships. GM can import cheap light guards from China manufactured to their specs for their mid-sized U.S. trucks as can most major truck manufacturers. Thousands of dollars per guard, especially if plastic are nonsense. Plastic guards would be cheaper and lighter than current useless guards now on U.S. automaker manufactured trucks (especially from China or other low cost exporters). If you have not commented on ANPRM for SUT Rear Guards and Tape please do so. Let them know future guards will be cheap and light and strong and with reflective tape on single-unit trucks will save lives, tell them you support these technologies on Single-Unit Trucks and deplore manipulated cost-benefit analysis. Cost-benefit analysis always limits the lives saved as too costly for industry. Tell them Vision Zero works to save all lives and you demand NHTSA use Vision Zero based analysis.
The Advanced Notice of Proposed Rule Making (ANPRM) for rear impact guards and reflective tape on Single Unit (Straight) Trucks (SUTs) is now published in the Federal Register.
Public Comments will be accepted on this issue for 60 days (until October 21, 2015).
Please take the time to let the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) know what you think. To do so, go here: http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=NHTSA_FRDOC_0001-1478
Links below for cutting and pasting.
Chinese underride guards cheap at Alibaba
Scientists Invent a New Steel as Strong as Titanium
Today a team of material scientists at Pohang University of Science and Technology in South Korea announced what they’re calling one of the biggest steel breakthroughs of the last few decades: an altogether new type of flexible, ultra-strong, lightweight steel. This new metal has a strength-to-weight ratio that matches even our best titanium alloys, but at one tenth the cost, and can be created on a small scale with machinery already used to make automotive-grade steel. The study appears in Nature.
“Because of its lightness, our steel may find many applications in automotive and aircraft manufacturing,” says Hansoo Kim, the researcher that led the team.
Brittle intermetallic compound makes ultrastrong low-density steel with large ductility
“It’s stronger than existing thermosetting plastics by about threefold,” explained Garcia. “Even without reinforcement, we’re reaching 14 gigapascal’s on Young’s Modulus.”
That’s the standard test for strength, by the way: Take a thin slice of a material, be it plastic wrap or aircraft-grade aluminum, suspend it and apply force to the middle, and see when it gives way. Fourteen gigapascals surpasses the score of bone (a benchmark historically) and approaches steel.