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Innovative camera system improves safety for commercial vehicles

by assisting seeing around corners, manoeuvring, lane changing and parking

A device to see around blind corners and provide a "top view" will help drivers to manoeuvre trucks and buses more safely. Alpine’s Multi Camera technology is linked with a navigation database offering the ability to see all aspects of the vehicle and its surroundings, eliminating dangerous blind spots.

At blind intersections, for example approaching a t-junction, a front mounted camera shows the view to the left and right as well as straight ahead. This information is displayed on a screen in the cab. For lane changing, cameras on the side of vehicle eliminate blind spots that have been a particular problem for left hand drive trucks in the UK. "According to insurance data, the vast majority of accidents involving lorries happen on motorways and many are a result of the HGV being left-hand drive and this causing a blind spot on the right of their vehicle," says Alpine’s OEM business manager Keith Price.

A further innovation of the system is the "Top View". The array of cameras can be combined to provide, in real time, a plan view of the vehicle in its surroundings, and enables the driver to park or manoeuvre safely, seeing all four sides.

The technology works by processing multiple camera views together with road information from a navigation database. Complex processing ensures the information is presented in real time, even for larger vehicles such as articulated lorries or buses. The first prototypes have been tested on cars but Alpine believes the safety aspect is much more relevant to larger commercial vehicles. "This technology could help eliminate being sideswiped on the motorway or just avoid damage when backing into a loading bay," adds Price. "It could also be useful for bus applications to see passengers as they dismount or cross the road."

Likely to be a factory fit, Alpine suggests that the technology could be on the road in less than three years.

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