Fleet News

Blind spot detector set for production

EUROPEAN car manufacturers have expressed an interest in a new detection system that could prevent accidents and save fleets money by alerting drivers to another vehicle in their blind spot.

It is estimated that one in 10 accidents are caused because drivers fail to look over their shoulder when pulling out.

Now a radar-based detection system will eliminate blind spots. It is expected to go into production in 2006 and then become available on the aftermarket.

The small boxes can be easily installed on existing vehicles, hidden behind the rear bumper on either side of the car, said Helmut Wodrich, chief operating officer of Valeo Raytheon Systems, the company behind the invention.

Radar is used because it is not affected by bad weather. It is a multi-beam system which constantly monitors the area alongside and behind the vehicle. If an object appears in this area - the blind spot - an icon appears on the door mirror to warn the driver.

The classic blind spot accidents are caused when drivers pull out to overtake, join another stream of traffic from a slip road or pull away from the kerb, said Wodrich.

'The system is clever enough, because it uses multi-beam technology, to ignore vehicles coming towards you on a normal two-lane road when you don't really have a blind spot.

'What's important is the things that a driver doesn't see or they might see, but didn't realise how close they were,' added Wodrich.

It also has 'zero speed' ability. This means that when two vehicles are travelling at identical speeds, with one sitting in the other's blind spot, the system is smart enough to realise an object is there.

Source: Interchange News Agency.

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