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In a large truck, the driver’s view around the vehicle is significantly more restricted than in other vehicles, especially in passenger vehicles. In trucks, the driver’s view of the near field is significantly obstructed by the structure of the vehicle.
The rear of the cab and the cargo body obstructs the view directly to the rear, even with mirrors. The driver can directly view the area along the left side of the vehicle by a head turn in some cases, though even that view is restricted by the width of the cargo body and the design of the cab. Along the right side of the vehicle, the driver’s view is almost entirely dependent on indirect vision, using mirrors.
The regulatory requirements for mirror systems on trucks are minimal in comparison to common practice. There are no federal requirements for other mirrors or that pertain to blind zones around the vehicle. The number of mirrors that are commonly used in addition to those required show that many truck operators have attempted to address the problem.
Truckers often add convex mirrors near the planar mirrors, lookdown mirrors on the passenger side door, and fender/hood-mounted convex mirrors mounted to fill in the blind zone along the side of the vehicle, or to provide a view of the area immediately in front. Truckers have long been aware of the problem, and many have equipped their vehicles with extra mirrors to try to improve visibility.
Mirrors fitted to long haulage truck-based vehicles improve the driver’s indirect field of view. Mirrors improve the safety of vulnerable road users including pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists. These groups are at a high risk of being involved in a crash with heavy vehicles because of blind spots in the immediate areas around the vehicle
Mirror-relevant crashes account for almost 20 percent of all truck crash involvements, that is, crashes in which the truck driver needed to use mirrors to manoeuvre safely. In most of the mirror-relevant crash types, the crashes involved relatively low closing speeds, either because the truck was moving slowly, as in start-up and turning crashes, or because both vehicles were moving in the same direction on the same roadway and the truck maneuverer into the other vehicle, as in lane change crashes.
Thereby it stands to be important to have a well organized and well-developed initiative towards safety requirements being complied at all times for the truck console operators. To facilitate detection of pedestrians and other objects positioned behind the truck, Volvo has utilized an indirect vision system in which a view of the surroundings behind the vehicle is provided by a camera installed at the rear of the truck with a corresponding monitor placed in the cab.
The Global Truck Mirror System Market can be segmented into following categories for further analysis.
The Truck Mirror system is of immense importance considering the recent and more integrated approach towards road safety and cargo safety which includes high value cargo and high-volume cargoes. The Truck mirroring system is taken into consideration for better improvised visionary requirements of the driver handling the control mechanism of the trucks.
Camera-monitor systems (CMS) are the latest integration within the truck mirror system which is used in motor truck vehicles to display the driver’s rear view on a monitor mounted inside the vehicle. This also offers the possibility of replacing conventional exterior mirrors with suitable CMS and thereby implementing new design concepts with aerodynamic advantages. However, as exterior mirrors are safety-relevant vehicle parts for securing the driver’s indirect rear view.
Replacement of physical rear-view mirrors with digital offer new possibilities for vision enhancements and supplementary information that could facilitate driving. However, the in-vehicle support systems and information contribute to increased mental workload of the driver and inadequate Human Machine Interface (HMI) can lead to distraction and impaired driving performance.
Lane changing support is an additional safety feature implemented in Volvo trucks. The system is equipped with a radar, which is activated by indicators and facilitates detection of vehicles located in the blind spot. The driver is alerted of the possible danger by light indication implemented into A-pillar and an additional audio warning.
The blind spot is classified as one of the most challenging obstacles while driving. To facilitate detection of cars and other objects hiding from view, devices such as blind spot information systems and indirect vision systems are implemented in vehicles. This has been one of the crucial in mirror technology for long haulage trucks.
The Global Truck Mirror system market houses several companies that have developed and implemented camera monitor systems to provide the drivers with additional FOV. These systems can range from simple rear or front view cameras to 360 degrees bird view images to facilitate drivers’ awareness of the surroundings. Continental, Volkswagen, and Stoneridge have developed concepts for digital rear-view mirrors with displays mounted inside the truck cab.
Continental’s ProViu digital mirrors consist of four cameras allowing for different viewing angles and two displays integrated in the A-pillars on corresponding sides. The images are presented as split screens on the monitor in order to resemble the physical side mirrors. This solution contributes to extended viewing area and reduced need for head movements of the driver.
Ford has developed two safety features for this purpose, one of which is a wide-angle mirror integrated in the corners of rear-view mirrors displaying the blind spots. The secondary is a blind spot information system (BLIS), which enables detection of approaching vehicles by utilizing sensors installed on both sides of the rear bumper.
The sensors are activated at a speed of 5 km/h and the driver is alerted if a moving vehicle is present in the blind spot. The warning is presented as a yellow standard blind spot symbol on the outer corner of the rear-view mirror.
One of the most important technological advantages of enabling a 360-degree view around the truck is through implementation of transparent A- and B-pillars. Furthermore the concept contains additional driver assistant information displayed on the head-up display, the “ghost car”. This feature allows for the driver to follow a projected vehicle in the line of sight to a predetermined destination rather than navigate using a traditional GPS.
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