Side collision warning systems help to enhance safety by assisting the driver in avoiding collisions during lane changes and merge situations. These systems monitor blind spot areas along the sides of a commercial motor vehicle, detect
stationary and moving objects in these areas, and provide warnings to drivers of possible collisions with vehicles traveling in an adjacent lane.
Eaton VORAD Blindspotter Side Collision Warning System
Side collision warning systems monitor the lanes adjacent to a vehicle to detect moving and stationary objects located within the side blind spots. These systems work at varying
speeds, such as when a driver is navigating turns, merging into highway traffic, or making lane changes in congested highway traffic. Certain systems currently on the market can
detect objects within a 120 degree field of view or a monitoring area of approximately 13 feet by 8 feet to the side of the vehicle. In addition, they may be integrated with other systems, such as forward collision warning systems. Currently
available side collision warning systems utilize ultrasonic or radar detection technology.
Ultrasonic technology or
sonar (SOund Navigation And Ranging) determines the range of objects by emitting a transmitter pulse of ultrasonic energy.
The emitter is a membrane that transforms mechanical energy into a chirp (inaudible sound wave) and sends it out toward
the target area. When the sound wave encounters an object, the resultant echo is reflected back to the receiver circuit that
is tuned to the frequency of the emitter. A sensor in the receiver measures how long it takes for the echo to return and
converts this information into distance. It then transfers the data to a driver display unit. In one type of side collision
warning system, this process is repeated 20 times each second.
Radar (Radio Detection and Ranging) technology is also used for side collision warning systems. Radar typically
operates in the ultra-high-frequency or microwave range of the radio-frequency spectrum. These radio frequency waves are
transmitted from the vehicle at defined intervals within a specific coverage area. If there is an object in the path of
the radio wave, it will reflect some of the electromagnetic energy, and the radio wave, or echo, will bounce back to the
radar device. Radio waves move through the air at a constant speed (the speed of light); therefore, the radar device can
calculate how far away the object is based on how long it takes the radio signal to return. These echoes are sent to a
signal processing unit within the vehicle and communicated as a warning on a driver display.
Side collision warning systems provide visual and/or audible alerts to warn drivers when objects are detected. Some systems indicate the distance
from a detected object on a digital display installed either in or on the dashboard. Other systems provide visual
indicators or lights on the vehicle?s mirrors when an object is detected alongside the vehicle. Visual alerts can be used
in combination with audible alerts that vary in tone and frequency as the vehicle moves closer to an object.
Side collision warning systems can provide an added measure of safety for turning, merging and lane changing maneuvers
when a driver cannot see objects in the blind spots along the sides of his vehicle. If a vehicle is in the adjacent lane
when a driver has begun a lane change or merge, then the driver may not be aware of the potential hazard. These systems
can provide an advanced warning to allow additional time for a driver to react and avoid a collision.
Side collision warning systems are a safety supplement to driver awareness. They are not intended to replace visual observations or
mirrors and they do not take any automatic action to avoid a collision or to control the vehicle. Therefore, drivers remain responsible for driving safely.
Operations and Benefits
Side collision warning systems are activated when the vehicle?s ignition system is on. They provide continuous
monitoring of blind spot areas along the sides the vehicle. When these systems are activated, they basically operate
?hands-free,? leaving the driver free to focus his attention on safely operating the vehicle.
vehicle drivers operate their vehicles in a wide range of environmental conditions that can temporarily limit their
vision. Side collision warning systems provide advanced warning of objects within the vehicle?s path in turns, traffic
merges, and lane changes and in low visibility situations. These warnings give drivers more time to respond appropriately
to detected objects and avoid crashes. In particular, side collision warning systems aid in reducing crashes associated
with blind spots along the sides of commercial motor vehicles.
Although many kinds of fleets could benefit from using side collision warning systems, two types of fleets appear to
benefit the most by their use. These are those whose trucks have accumulated high mileage over their operational life and
those whose operating conditions present driving challenges such as nighttime or limited visibility due to adverse weather
Side collision warning systems range in cost from approximately $760 to $2,000, depending upon the type of system purchased, installation costs, and possible integration
with other collision warning systems.
Troy, Michigan 48098-2815 USA
2400 Roosevelt Avenue
P.O. Box 4013
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