Connect with us

Equipment

FMCSA approves new camera monitoring system as alternative to conventional rear-vision mirrors

Published

on

WASHINGTON — The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has approved an exemption application from Stoneridge Inc. that will allow the company’s MirrorEye Camera Monitor System (CMS) to be installed as an alternative to conventional rear-vision mirrors currently required on commercial motor vehicles in the United States.

The decision will apply solely to Stoneridge’s MirrorEye system, making it the only CMS that allows for complete removal of traditional mirrors in the U.S., said a Stoneridge news release.

“This decision will help bring an innovative driver vision technology to market that will greatly improve the safety of everyone who shares the road,” said Jon DeGaynor, Stoneridge president and CEO. “The MirrorEye Camera Monitor System empowers truck drivers to avoid potential collisions by the elimination of certain blind spots, expansion of their field of view and increased awareness of the truck’s surroundings. This exemption allows our customers to fully recognize both the safety and fuel economy benefits of MirrorEye.”

In granting the exemption, FMCSA noted the MirrorEye CMS consists of multiple digital cameras mounted on the exterior of the CMV and enclosed in an aerodynamic package that provides both environmental protection for the cameras and a mounting location for optimal visibility.

FMCSA said each camera has video processing software that presents a clear, high-definition image to the driver by means of a monitor mounted to each A-pillar of the CMV, i.e., the structural member between the windshield and door of the cab.

The agency said Stoneridge explained in its exemption request that attaching the monitors to the A-pillars avoids the creation of incremental blind spots while eliminating the blind spots associated with conventional mirrors.

Stoneridge told FMCSA that its technology meets or exceeds the visibility requirements provided in federal trucking regulations based on several factors:

  • Greater field of view than conventional mirrors. Mirrors are replaced by wide angle, narrow angle and look-down cameras, expanding the field of view by an estimated 25 percent.
  • Fail-safe design. The system has independent video processing of multiple camera images so that in the unlikely event of an individual camera failure, the other camera images continue to be displayed, ensuring that real-time images are displayed without interruption.
  • Augmented and enhanced vision quality. The use of high-definition digital cameras provides for color night vision, low light sensitivity and trailer panning capabilities. This assists with night driving, operating under other low lighting conditions, and provides for glare reduction.
  • Trailer panning. The CMS automatically tracks the end of the trailer to keep it in view while the vehicle is moving forward. Stoneridge believes this feature could eliminate collisions associated with the CMV driver making a right-hand turn, and incidents where the CMV strikes a pedestrian or bicyclist while making right-hand turns.

DeGaynor thanked trucking industry leaders who have tested, provided input and helped validate the effectiveness and reliability of the technology.

“Stoneridge would like to especially acknowledge the American Trucking Associations, Truckload Carriers Association, Trucking Alliance, Spangenberg Partners and numerous individuals of the trucking community who have supported our mission of improved safety,” he said.

Last April, FMCSA said it had asked for public comments on the exemption request.

ATA told the agency that granting this and similar petitions for exemption from federal requirements that currently are barriers to mirrorless technology would provide valuable real-world experience and data to inform future regulatory action to allow CMS technology as an alternative to rear view mirrors for all vehicle types, noting that motor carriers and truck manufacturers recognize the potential of CMS to improve both safe operations and fuel efficiency when compared with traditional exterior mirrors.

Schneider and J.B. Hunt both told FMCSA they had been using the MirrorEye CMS, in addition to the required mirrors, in a select number of vehicles.

“Both motor carriers support granting Stoneridge’s application,” FMCSA said in granting the exemption.

“Schneider states that its drivers using the MirrorEye CMS have (1) had an overwhelmingly positive experience,” and (2) confirmed some of the benefits touted by Stoneridge in its application, including improved visibility in night driving and low-light conditions, improved visibility due to auto tracking of the trailer, and reduced driver distraction due to light and glare reduction.”

J.B. Hunt commented that “we have not been involved in any collisions and have received overwhelming positive feedback from our test drivers,” adding that its drivers noted benefits such as “real time, excellent monitor image clarity with improved field of vision around their tractors and trailing units and elimination of the tractor’s problematic front passenger side blind spot.”

The FMCSA said Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety had opposed the exemption request “on the basis that the application is overly broad,” noting that the regulations governing requests for exemption require applications to include “an estimate of the number of drivers and commercial motor vehicles that would be operated under the terms and conditions of the exemption,” which in this case could encompass every CMV and driver presently on the U.S. roads.

“We must oppose such an overly broad exemption which would apply for at least five years,” Advocates said in its comment.

The organization added that while opposed to the application, it recognized the potential benefits of the technology, and instead urged the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and FMCSA “to establish a pilot program study the benefits of using cameras to enhance commercial vehicle driver visibility as this technology has the potential to reduce or eliminate the large and dangerous blind zones around CMVs.”

“MirrorEye technology was designed and improved based on real input from commercial vehicles drivers during testing,” said Stephen Fox, vice president of business development at Stoneridge. “We have collected a tremendous amount of data and challenged the system in real-life scenarios. We are fully confident MirrorEye CMS will provide exceptional reliability and resolve many of the safety issues commercial vehicle drivers currently face.”

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Equipment

Mack Trucks names Mack Masters Competition champs

Published

on

Team “#Rise For The Anthem” from Bruckner Truck Sales in Shreveport, Louisiana, was named champions of the 2019 Mack Masters Competition having successfully completed several rounds of challenges designed to evaluate their knowledge of Mack service systems and procedures. The team is, left to right, : Aaron Toomer, Ted Pfister, Joey Wardrip and Justin Malone. (Courtesy: MACK TRUCKS)

ALLENTOWN, Pa. — Mack Trucks put its superheroes of service to the test in the third installment of the Mack Masters Competition, a biennial event designed to evaluate participants’ knowledge of Mack service systems and procedures.

Team “# Rise For The Anthem” from Bruckner Truck Sales in Shreveport, Louisiana, successfully completed several rounds of competition, including a comprehensive final challenge, to be crowned Mack Masters Champions.

Members of team “#Rise For The Anthem” are Aaron Toomer, Justin Malone, Ted Pfister and Joey Wardrip.

“Not all superheroes wear capes, but our service technicians proudly wear the Mack Bulldog on their uniforms and deliver the expert knowledge and service our customers require,” said Jonathan Randall, Mack Trucks senior vice president, North American sales and marketing. “Congratulations to Aaron, Justin, Joey and Ted from team “#Rise For The Anthem” on taking their commitment to our customer to an even higher level.”

The 2019 Mack Masters Competition kicked off in November 2018 with early rounds of online challenges that tested competitors’ knowledge of Mack’s service procedures and related systems. A record number of entrants participated with about 2,000 individuals on more than 500 teams.

After competing in three rounds of online challenges, 10 teams of finalists were named, each representing one of Mack’s sales and service regions — Central, Northeast, Southeast, Southwest and West for the U.S., plus Canada, Mexico, Peru, Latin America, and for the first time ever an apprentice team of individuals new to their job roles.

The finalists’ knowledge and skills were challenged with five hands-on stations designed to challenge each team with a specific service situation that had to be completed in just 30 minutes. Following the completion of a challenge, teams rotated to the next one until all five were completed.

Team results from all stations were tallied to determine the champion.

Other finalist teams were: “Trunnion City Masters” from M&K Truck Centers in Des Plains, Illinois; “Bergey’s Bulldogs” from Bergey’s Truck Centers, Souderton, Pennsylvania; “TranSource Titans” from TranSource Truck & Trailer Centers in Greensboro, North Carolina; “Mobile Fleet Service” from Mobile Fleet Service in Wenatchee, Washington; “Top Dogs” from Lounsbury Truck Centre in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada; “Hermosillo” from Tractoremolques del Noroeste in Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico; “Dream Team” from Mack Peru; and “Bulldogs United” from Salfa in Chile. The apprentice team, “Pac Coast One,” was from Pacific Coast Heavy Truck Group in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

The Mack Masters Competition is organized and conducted by the Mack Trucks Academy, which is responsible for developing and implementing Mack service training and aftermarket support programs.

The academy is accredited by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) for Continuing Automotive Service Education (CASE).

 

 

Continue Reading

Equipment

Kenworth T880S with 52-, 76-inch sleepers now available for order

Published

on

Both size sleepers provide excellent interior height clearance, enabling a driver or passenger up to 6-foot-4 to easily stand up between the seats. Pictured is the 76-inch mid-roof sleeper. (Courtesy: KENWORTH TRUCK CO.)

KIRKLAND, Wash. — The Kenworth T880S with a set-forward front axle is now available for order with Kenworth’s 52-inch and 76-inch mid-roof sleepers.

The T880S sleeper configurations are focused on heavy haul and severe highway applications where ruggedness is especially required.

The two sleeper options enable the T880S to meet both overall combination length and weight distribution needs, and are applicable for both Canadian and U.S. markets, according to Kurt Swihart, Kenworth marketing director.

Kenworth’s 76-inch mid-roof sleeper can be ordered with either the optional back wall storage system or folding upper bunk.

The optional Kenworth Idle Management System provides a factory-installed, battery-based auxiliary power unit (APU). A premium sound system and flat screen TV mount are among other options that provide further driver comfort and satisfaction.

The Kenworth 52-inch mid-roof sleeper is a welcome sanctuary when the schedule requires a short layover. The sleeper features a liftable lower bunk and upper storage units on the sleeper’s back wall, including hanging storage for clothes and jackets. A bunk heater, flat screen TV, premium sound system and factory-installed inverter with optional shore power are available for additional comfort. The many driver comfort amenities help give the Kenworth T680’s 52-inch mid-size sleeper the feel of a larger sleeper.

Swihart said both sleepers provide excellent interior height clearance, enabling a driver or passenger up to 6-foot-4 to easily stand up between the seats. Specifying the 180-degree optional passenger swivel seat further expands the living space and enables the driver to use both the cab and the sleeper as a comfortable space for relaxation – when not driving.

“Our high-quality sleeper options for the T880S provides customers with an additional opportunity for enhanced driver comfort in their efforts for cost-effective operations and increased driver retention and recruitment,” Swihart said.

The T880S is offered with a set-forward front axle ranging from 14,600 pounds to 22,800 pounds, and is standard with the PACCAR MX-13 engine with up to 510 hp and 1,850 lb-ft of torque. For weight-sensitive applications, the 10.8-liter PACCAR MX-11 engine is 400 pounds lighter than larger displacement engines, and provides up to 430-hp and 1,650 lb-ft of torque.

For more information, visit www.kenworth.com

 

 

Continue Reading

Equipment

Lippert Components introduces somnum Sleeper Series pillows for long-haul drivers

Published

on

The machine washable somnum Sleeper Series pillows are made with hypoallergenic down-alternative fill, and the covers are 100% cotton, 350 thread count and double stitched to increase the lifespan of the pillow. (Courtesy: LIPPERT COMPONENTS)

ELKHART, Ind. — Lippert Components (LCI), a supplier of highly engineered components to the mobile and leisure transportation industries, has introduced somnum Sleeper Series pillows for long-haul, heavy truck drivers.

These machine washable pillows are made with hypoallergenic down-alternative fill, and the covers are 100% cotton, 350 thread count and double stitched to increase the lifespan of the pillow.

Designed to endure the ever-fluctuating temperatures and persistent moisture commonly found in sleeper environments, somnum premium pillows provide the perfect balance of support and comfort for a good night’s sleep, helping increase driver alertness while on the road, according to Mike Padrnos, business development manager at LCI.

Featuring both soft and firm options, the pillows come in two sizes, jumbo and king.

In addition to their premium comfort level, the somnum Sleeper Series pillows are 100% machine-washable, making it easier for them to retain their original freshness and shape, Padrnos

“A key purpose of a pillow is to keep your neck comfortably and safely aligned with your spine,” he said. “Having a great pillow contributes to a good night’s sleep when you’re at home. That being said, pillow quality is just as important for truck drivers who travel long hours and sleep in their trucks.”

Padrnos that while alignment is important, LCI had also paid special attention to personal comfort by ensuring that the somnum Sleeper Series features a variety of different pillow options.

“Everyone has their own personal preferences, so we created both soft and firm pillow options,” he said.

Padrnos said that in the fall of 2018, Donna Mooney, vice president of human resources at Titan Transfer, a freight carrier company, sought to find a “different and unique” gift for the company’s 400-plus trucks and corresponding drivers for National Truck Driver Appreciation Week.

“We tried all the typical items: polo shirts, hats, gift cards, etc. I spent quite a bit of time online, shopping to find just the right gift,” Mooney said. “The somnum pillow caught my interest. The pillows ended up being a tremendous hit with our drivers, so much so that we had several drivers order additional pillows for their residential homes.”

“We’ve heard that truck drivers love somnum pillows from direct feedback at truck shows and from fleets like Titan Transfer that have introduced them to their drivers through their company stores or given them out as driver gifts. A new pillow is a small but meaningful upgrade to a Class 8 sleeper berth,” Padrnos said. “Fleets that are using somnum pillows as part of their driver incentive/reward programs are receiving gratitude from drivers for such a thoughtful gesture. Realistically, many people aren’t replacing their pillows nearly enough.”

For more information about somnum Sleeper Series pillows and how they can be purchased for your driver appreciation program, email somnum.info@lci1.com.

For more information, contact mpadrnos@lci1.com

 

 

 

Continue Reading

Trending