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Vehicle Collision Avoidance Systems

An array of technologies are available to help truck drivers avoid, or at least mitigate, vehicle collisions. There are systems that assist with obstacle detection, warn of lane departure, forward collision, and rear impact, and help with rollover and vehicle under- and over-steer driving situations. Here is a sampling of what is available.

RearSight helps avert backing-up accidents

Rostra Precision Controls Inc. introduces the new RearSight back-up camera system specifically designed for use in fleet vehicles.

The RearSight kit (#250-8040) features a 5-inch TFT-LCD monitor that mounts directly in the vehicle's headliner to display with a large, wide-angle view for drivers. The monitor has a reverse override function as well as dual video inputs for navigation, interior camera, and/or DVD.

A heavy-duty, waterproof color image camera provides a 150-degree wide-angle view behind the vehicle that is transferred to the in-cab monitor. The camera features auto infrared for night vision and a heavy-duty bracket with a 5-foot harness, which allows users to easily adjust the camera's angle.

Rostra offers a three-year/36,000-mile warranty on the new RearSight kit. Professional installation is recommended.

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In-cab mentoring device aids driver safety

The waySmart 820 RTS (Real Time Safety) system from inthinc is designed to create immediate improvements in driving behavior of commercial fleet drivers.

Real-time, in-cab alerts are delivered to drivers to let them know when they are conducting unsafe driving behavior; these alerts prompt them to discontinue actions such as seatbelt violations, aggressive driving, and speeding. The system also provides a flexible set of control and management tools for companies to account for assets and the driving records of employees. Management can streamline business with access to the fleet's latest data at any time through a user-friendly web interface called GAIN (Global Access Information Network).

The product comes equipped with a hand-held device used to provide verbal and text communication from the driver to the company. Messages and functions such as vehicle speed, location, DOT hours-of-service regulations, and other information are displayed for the driver and management as needed.

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OnGuard system includes active braking

Meritor WABCO Vehicle Control Systems has introduced OnGuard, a forward-looking, radar-based adaptive cruise control system with active braking for commercial vehicles in North America. New to the North American industry, the system improves vehicle safety by automatically using the vehicle foundation brakes to decelerate the vehicle when a pre-set vehicle following distance is compromised.

Automatic foundation brake intervention distinguishes OnGuard from existing passive collision warning systems, which can only alert the driver to a potentially dangerous situation through alarm and engine braking. With OnGuard, if the pre-determined “safe” distance is compromised, the system will provide visual and audible warning to the driver, vehicle deceleration through engine control, retarder control, and most importantly, noticeable foundation braking.

Foundation brake deceleration can be as great as one-third of a full brake application for the vehicle but within safe limits for the driver to take control, according to Jon Morrison, president and general manager, Meritor WABCO Vehicle Control Systems.

OnGuard fully integrates with the joint venture's anti-lock braking (ABS) and stability control systems. Morrison said this allows the user to build a pyramid of safety for the vehicle with stability control and collision safety system via a single brake ABS electronic control unit (ECU) versus having other “add-on” systems.

OnGuard is targeted for third quarter 2008 availability as a factory-installed option at several OEM truck brands.

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VisionStat vehicle camera systems offered

Mobile Awareness LLC offers VisionStat, a new series of industrial wired and wireless commercial vehicle camera systems. VisionStat systems can be configured with up to four infrared night vision CCD cameras. Available in both wired and wireless, all camera types (front, side, and rear mounting) are waterproof and produce high-resolution images.

Advanced features of the 5.6-inch Color Monitor include a control interface embedded into the monitor enclosure, built-in audio speaker, turn signal switching, and multiple mounting methods. Designed with the same form-factor as the wired version, the wireless edition has an embedded 2.4-GHz radio for video image transmission.

Additional features include automatic switching of camera views whenever the vehicle is in reverse or via left/right turn signals for side-view cameras. The unit automatically switches and displays the word “Backward” (reversing camera), “Left” or “Right” (side-view cameras) on the monitor for enabled camera. It is audio-enabled so the driver can hear around, as well as see, blind spot areas.

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