Camera system could soon replace mirrors

Stoneridge has replaced side mirrors with cameras that provide complete visibility into blind spots.

Stoneridge has replaced side mirrors with cameras that provide complete visibility into blind spots.

Truck safety could take a big leap forward if drivers could see in their blind spots. Many companies are offering radar that looks down the vehicle and transmits that information back to the cab, but one company has decided the best approach is to eliminate the vehicle’s mirrors altogether.

Stoneridge expects its MirrorEye system to be available in the first quarter of 2018. A company that has been producing components for nearly 40 years, Stoneridge has developed a camera system that removes the mirrors but provides a driver with complete visibility around his vehicle.

Removing the mirrors provides a 2-3% fuel savings, the company said. Inside the cab, drivers have a 12.3-in. high definition display on their left and a 15-in. display on their right. In the middle top of the window is another display, giving the driver complete visibility from 5-6 cameras mounted on the vehicle.

The displays show blind spots as well as the entire length of the trailer in full color and cameras, which are heated for easy defrosting, are shielded from the weather to ensure a clear view.

Schneider National, J.B. Hunt and Maverick Transportation are all testing the system.

Currently, it is not legal to remove side mirrors from trucks, but Stoneridge has shown the system to federal regulators and is seeking an exemption that would allow the removal. The system can be legally installed, company officials said, now without removing the vehicle’s mirrors.

As a truck turns, the cameras pan so the driver continues to have full visibility. The system also features an advanced image handling system that adjusts visibility in direct sunlight so drivers are not blinded and can continue to see clearly.

Full production of the system is expected in the first quarter of 2018.

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Brian Straight

Brian Straight has covered the U.S. trucking and transportation community for more than 10 years, winning numerous regional and national editorial awards, including a Jesse. H. Neal Award. Prior to working on FreightWaves, Brian spent 10 years at industry trade magazine Fleet Owner, and prior to that managed daily newspaper editorial operations.