Corey Heniser, CEO at Brigade Electronics INC – a leading supplier of road safety devices and solutions for commercial vehicles – discusses what can be done to protect haulage and logistics drivers and prevent collisions.
Driving conditions for those operating trucks in the haulage and logistics industries can be difficult. Pressure to meet delivery deadlines coupled with long and arduous journeys in often challenging conditions can test even the most skilled and experienced truck drivers.
According to the Census Bureau’s Commodity Flow Survey (CFS), more than 71% of all goods in the USA are transported by truck. As demand rises, the number of large vehicles on the road has surged. Latest statistics from 2019 show that there are 37.9 million trucks registered and used for business purposes in the US. With this comes a greater potential for collisions with other road users.
Cyclists are at particular risk. According to data from the National Center for Health Statistics, 65% of cyclist fatalities in 2019 were caused by collisions with motor vehicles.
The size and design of modern commercial vehicles means there are often numerous, complex blind spots for drivers to contend with – visibility around the vehicle can be limited. Despite advances in technology and the introduction of electronic safety features, incidents still occur.
As a result, fleet managers are opting to fit additional and more advanced on-board safety devices to their trucks to maximize safety, protect drivers and prevent collisions. These include ultrasonic obstacle detection systems, which warn and alert drivers to an object or person nearby, whether moving or stationary.
The latest ultrasonic obstacle detection range from Brigade was developed using artificial intelligence technology and supported by the Knowledge Transfer Partnership initiative with Cambridge University. The result – Sidescan®Predict – was extensively trialed in 2020 – and released to the market in November 2021 – with impressive results.
Through the use of AI, the Sidescan®Predict sensor constantly gathers object detection data such as the speed and distance of a cyclist or pedestrian in the vicinity. This data feeds into an algorithm created by Brigade to accurately gauge the risk of collision. When danger is detected, the driver is instantly alerted in time to take avoiding action.
Sidescan®Predict is always switched on, including at speeds below 18mph. And crucially, the collision protection is active with or without the indicators on. This is particularly important as it is recognized that some drivers become irritated by false alerts, even avoiding use of indicators so their system does not trigger alerts, potentially putting vulnerable road users at risk.
With truck drivers under pressure like never before, it’s vital for fleet operators to look at ways to protect drivers and other road users from collisions occurring.
When it comes to accident prevention, commercial vehicle safety systems are game changers for drivers providing enhanced protection and peace of mind.