Posted: January 2018
Anyone who works in the road safety industry understands the need to be adaptable and open to change. As technology evolves, it’s essential to keep a forward-thinking mindset, and here at Brigade, we are always alert to the exciting possibilities of the digital world.
Our products are designed to make commercial vehicles safer on roads and on work sites, using a host of innovations including cameras, radar obstacle detection, and warning alarms.
As we strive to develop sophisticated software and the highest-quality products, the end-user is always uppermost in our mind: the fleet manager and of course the driver.
Much has been written about the revolution in driverless vehicles. This year, the Department for Transport is trialing a platoon of self-driving lorries on UK motorways, and undoubtedly these vehicles will become a common sight on our roads in the coming decades. But in the short to mid-term future, we will continue to rely on human drivers to transport our goods. The most recent statistics show that HGVs cover over 16 billion miles on British roads every year1, with around 600,000 HGV-licensed drivers currently registered in the UK.
Brigade’s safety devices help to prevent collisions by assisting the driver whilst protecting vulnerable road users such as cyclists and pedestrians. ‘Assist’ is the key word. It’s understandable that some truckers, perhaps with decades of experience, worry that new technology might interfere with their tried-and-tested driving habits. The reality is that, following a simple training process, drivers very quickly adapt to the use of in-cab visual displays and audio warning alarms, and find them an invaluable aid in helping to eliminate blind spots.
A complete camera system such as the Brigade Backeye®360 is an intelligent camera system designed to assist low-speed manoeuvring by providing the driver with a complete surround view of the vehicle in real time. Four ultra-wide cameras capture footage of surroundings and are simultaneously processed and stitched together. The result is a single real-time 360o image of the vehicle on the driver’s monitor, eliminating blind spots and the need to check and process several mirrors or monitors in quick succession.
When drivers are asked for their feedback on a product such as the Backeye®360, the typical response is overwhelmingly positive. Terry Grieveson, a driver from North Kent Distribution, said: “Glancing at a blind spot camera is no distraction at all. The view that it gives makes such a difference, especially when reversing in congested town centres. It’s surprising how quickly the technology becomes second nature. Now I can’t imagine driving without Backeye®360 and the peace of mind that it offers.”
Our latest generation of Backeye®360, the BN360-200 model, is an upgraded version of the existing BN360 system, giving users even greater camera view options. The layout on the monitor has been improved to increase the image size by 22 per cent, regardless of monitor size, making blind spots even more visible to the driver.
Perhaps one day we will live in a world where driverless vehicles are the norm on our roads, and urban incidents involving pedestrians, cyclists, and other road users will be a distressing memory of the past. But until that day, our HGV drivers are able to benefit from the amazing safety technology on the market today.