Lorries have blind spots that leave cyclists and motorcyclists vulnerable. While blind spot technology is now becoming common on cars, HGVs are lagging behind. On many cars, there are sensors in the side of the bumpers to detect other motorists in an adjacent lane, but lorries need sensors right the way down the length of the trailer, or to use other technology such as cameras, optical sensors and other systems.
Transport for London (TfL) is leading a new project that will independently examine the latest in blind spot safety technology. Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) will undertake the tests.
The blind spot safety technology can be fitted to lorries that operate in urban areas with heavy mixed traffic to help reduce collisions. Cyclist collisions with lorries tend to be severe because it’s easy for a cyclist to fall under the wheels of a trailer.
The objective of TfL is to be able to provide companies with an impartial review of the current options so they can make informed choices. As TfL has an aim to reduce people injured or killed on London’s roads by 40% by 2020, this is one of the priority projects.
The tests will evaluate the effectiveness of each of the technologies including how easily the equipment detects vulnerable road users such as cyclists, how far away the objects can be detected from, and how consistently objects are detected. TRL will then develop performance guidelines for equipment coming onto the marketplace so that it functions within a desired set of guidelines.
Interested in becoming a lorry driver? You’ll need to pass these free highway Code tests here – give them a go and see how you do.