Road safety pioneer Brigade Electronics says the UK Government’s green light for the use of longer lorries on British roads means hauliers should consider increasing their fleets’ safety technology.
The announcement follows an 11-year road trial of longer semi-trailers of up to 18.55 metres – over two meters above the standard size – which will be allowed on Britain’s roads from 31st May.
The transport industry welcomed the move, saying it would mean more goods could be transported by fewer vehicles, cutting emissions and increasing efficiency.
However, the Campaign for Better Transport has issued a warning over the larger tail swing, where their rear end covers a bigger area when turning, which it claims could put vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and cyclists at risk.
Emily Hardy, Marketing Manager UK, Brigade Electronics Ltd, said: “To Brigade, the continuing number of deaths involving HGVs and vulnerable road users is simply shocking.
“As we see larger lorries hitting the UK’s streets, fleet operators must take a fresh look at their camera and sensor technology.
“Older iterations of sensors were less intelligent and could create false alerts arising from the articulation of the trailer, so it was not practical to have the technology fitted to them.
“But state-of-the-art systems, like Brigade’s new Radar Predict, use artificial intelligence to detect whether the vehicle has a trailer and only alerts the driver of the risk of a collision; reducing false alerts.
“The system is also ideal for preventing sideswipes on motorways.”
The Government’s announcement comes as Transport for London’s Direct Vision Standard (DVS) is proposing that vehicles should have sensors to cover trailers.
Brigade’s Radar Predict is one of the most technically sophisticated products in Brigade’s portfolio.
It was developed as a highly accurate collision detection system using artificial intelligence (AI) to determine potential collisions and warn the driver with sufficient time for an intervention. As a predictive system that minimises false alerts, Radar Predict can detect vulnerable road users up to five metres from the side of the vehicle, seven metres in front of the vehicle and up to 30 metres to the rear of the vehicle’s cabin.
Radar Predict constantly gathers object detection data such as the speed, direction, acceleration, and turning rate of a vehicle using radar technology.
It also collects information from the cyclist or other vulnerable road user, for example, their speed and distance from the lorry.
This data is then put through a processor created by Brigade technology partners to calculate the point of collision with road users alongside the vehicle, giving warnings to the driver of any risks through a visual display teamed with audible warnings.