Thursday, 21 February 2013

Could Dangerous Vehicle Blind Spots Be a Thing of the Past for Cyclists?

ASL360 is the world's first ever stand-alone system for industrial vehicles offering the operator a bird's eye real-time view of the vehicle and its surroundings. Designed to assist low-speed manoeuvrability and security, the screen displays the view as if from above the vehicle. The ASL360 surround view system synthesises a bird's eye image of the vehicle using multiple ultrawide-angle cameras mounted on the front, sides and rear of the vehicle.

Large vehicles make up a very small percentage of UK road traffic, but account for a disproportionately high number of cyclist deaths. It's not good enough just installing extra mirrors on HGVs and at junctions, all they do is pay lip service to the problem.

All vehicles have blind spots - areas around the vehicle that are obscured to the operator by the vehicle's bodywork or machinery. These blind spots present significant danger to objects close to the vehicle and inhibit the user's ability to operate and manoeuvre the vehicle or its machinery effectively. The blind spot excuse is routinely used by drivers of large vehicles when a vulnerable road user "comes out of nowhere".

For a commercially available system such as the ASL360 to eliminate them all, it's exactly the sort of thing that will make the blind spot excuse a thing of the past and help save the lives of the more vulnerable users of our roads.

Felix Saward of ASL Vision commented that, "Whilst pushing for large vehicles to adopt the ASL360 Surround View System we have received some fantastic feedback, and met some individuals and organisations who are very passionate about the safety of cyclists. The staff of Levenes are professional, highly skilled, experienced, and eager to improve overall road and vehicle safety in the UK. Such enthusiasm makes a big difference in making the roads a safer place for cyclists."

In this country it seems to be an acceptable risk that cyclists are going to get injured if they share the roads with larger vehicles. But if they're serious about safety and protecting vulnerable road users, then everybody from the law makers to the fleet owners to the individual drivers have no excuse not to install this system.

More information can be found on their website here. Or by watching a demo of the camera system in action in the video below.

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