Radar sensors are quickly becoming a part of many people’s daily commute to and from work. From Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM) to Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) to Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), radar sensors are moving from luxury to economy models of consumer vehicles. There are now over a million of these sensors being produced annually. Because of this widespread automotive usage, medium- and heavy-duty industries are adopting radar sensors for their blind spot monitoring and collision avoidance needs, too.
The theory behind gamification is really very simple:
Change behavior by making tasks fun.
It comes in many forms, from “gamifying” flight training with virtual reality flight simulators, to turning boring stationary bike rides into immersive, first-person tours of the Italian countryside.
No matter what the setting, the goal is the same:
Ask safety experts what makes American roads so dangerous and they tend to reduce it down to three simple words: belts, booze, and speed. Of course, there are other contributors to traffic deaths. An improving economy has more people commuting to work by car. Mobile technology has led to a serious spike in distracted driving. And, in many parts of the U.S., a crumbling infrastructure makes the simple act of driving more dangerous. But those three perennial problems are the main causes behind a shocking 14% increase in traffic deaths in America from 2015 to 2017—amounting to more than 40,000 deaths per year.
Normally, PRECO customers use our technology to warn heavy equipment operators of impending danger; an obstacle, a pedestrian, another vehicle. Occasionally, some companies come to us with a completely different set of requirements in mind, such as UK-based Equipe Geosolutions.
Equipe Geosolutions develops new technologies for the global drilling industry. Among its products are portable drilling rigs used by the construction industry to probe the subsoil on which new buildings will be built.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recently released a new two-year “Most Wanted” wish list for 2017-18 that puts distractions and tired driving at the top of ten pressing safety issues to improve.
NTSB Chairman Christopher Hart said that the list's new two-year cycle will “help to focus our advocacy efforts on sustained progress. We will take stock at the one-year mark, note what progress has been made, and decide what additional improvements are needed.”
Drivers and pedestrians are understandably nervous about the presence of semi-autonomous passenger cars and, soon, fully autonomous passenger cars on our roads. What would these same people think if they got a glimpse of the vehicles moving through underground mines from Wyoming to Western Australia? How would they feel about 100-ton driverless bulldozers moving in unison through cramped tunnels, filling their buckets with ore and highly trained operators in offices thousands of miles away? The use of autonomous and semi-autonomous equipment is more of what we might expect at a futuristic mining colony on Mars than at a present-day mine here on Planet Earth.
For a variety of reasons, the use of remotely controlled or programmed vehicles is slowly making its impact in the underground mining industry. Underground mining is dangerous. It is competitive. And it is taking place further and further beneath the earth’s crust. For all of these reasons, mine operators and the vendors who equip them are working furiously to get human operators out of the mines and into safer locations.
Merriam-Webster defines a platoon as “… two or more squads usually led by one lieutenant.” Change “squads” to “trucks” and “lieutenant” to “driver” and you’ve got the definition of what is currently taking the trucking world by storm.
Platooning isn’t a new concept, but recent advances have made it a viable, cost-savings transportation option for trucking fleets in the not-so-distant future.
They never take shift breaks. They do the dirty work. They face endless, brutal hazards. Driverless vehicles are on the scene in mining operations around the world and, in an industry that’s remained largely unchanged for the past 30 years, the big question looms, “How will this affect us?” Followed by the immediate concern, “Is it safe?”
First though, how do autonomous vehicles actually work? Under the hood of driverless heavy-duty fleets, you’ll find a combination of sensors, typically using radar and GPS to navigate. The GPS plots the course and mission of the vehicle. For mining operations, unmanned equipment typically moves around a pre-defined course—streamlining rigorous, tedious mining tasks like dumping and loading.
Transportation drives economic and societal progress. As it has from time immemorial. This rings especially true when it comes to the heavy-duty equipment that drives big enterprises around the world. Only now, it’s all moving forward at the rapid speed of the continuous advancement of transformative technology that could change the entire road ahead in the near future. A recent government report shows that within only three to five years, innovative tech applications may begin to have significant impacts on entire transportation systems and any vehicle-propelled industries.
One thing is certain, one day your organization will be faced with litigation as a result of an accident that involves your fleet. The severity of the accident, where it occurred and the circumstances surrounding the collision will be analyzed to prove any negligence committed by you, the carrier and/or the operator.
John Cruickshank, an attorney with Alaniz and Schraeder, recently participated on a panel with PRECO Electronics and shared his belief that “a lawsuit avoided is better than a lawsuit won.” It is with this belief that we put forth below our Top 5 Tips for avoiding accidents and litigation.