As traffic on urban roads increases, so does the risk of accidents. Pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists, as well as new road users like electric scooter riders, are all especially at risk. Now, Knorr-Bremse, the global market leader for braking systems and other rail and commercial vehicle systems, and Mobileye are introducing a retrofittable turning assistant Pro-Fleet Assist+ in an effort to enhance traffic safety in Europe.
ProFleet Assist+, which features integrated assistance systems, is a joint offering from Knorr-Bremse TruckServices and Intel company Mobileye, a global leader in the development of computer vision and machine learning, data analysis, localization, and mapping technologies for advanced driver assistance systems and autonomous driving solutions.
“With our new retrofittable turning assistant, we aim to increase road safety for all road users and reduce situations with a high risk of accidents. ProFleet Assist+ combines proven technology from Mobileye with Knorr-Bremse’s know-how in the development of safety-critical products for major OEM and aftermarket customers,” says Wolfgang Krinner, Member of the Management Board of Knorr-Bremse Commercial Vehicle Systems. “The advantage of Pro-Fleet Assist+ for fleet operators is that they can retrofit the system to their existing fleets and thus don’t need to purchase new vehicles to benefit from the technology.”
ProFleet Assist+ is a camera-based system which analyses visual data from the vehicle’s environment in real-time. This analysis uses sophisticated computer-vision algorithms which have been designed to detect vulnerable road users. The software can tell, for example, if the object detected alongside the vehicle is a cyclist heading for the next intersection. Key features of the system include the side-mounted cameras that monitor the vehicle’s danger zone when it is about to make a turn – the ‘blind spot’ – thereby allowing the system to warn the driver when a critical situation is identified. The warnings from the turning assistant appear on a side display in the cab which is optimally positioned in the driver’s field of vision when making a turn.
This advanced technology helps detect potential dangers in real time and thus minimises the risk of accidents. The turning assistant technology also helps to boost drivers’ awareness of critical traffic situations, helping them to improve their driving style.
Along with the turning assistant, ProFleet Assist+ offers five additional assistance functions that ease the strain on the driver. These include Forward Collision Warning, which warns drivers when there is an imminent risk of collision, be it on highways or in urban areas, and Lane Departure Warning, which provides visual and audio warnings when the vehicle leaves its lane unintentionally, e.g. without the driver having activated the turn indicator.
The system also includes Traffic Sign Recognition, which for example alerts drivers when they exceed the speed limit, as well as Headway Monitoring and Warning, and a Pedestrian Collision Warning function. This last function is optimized to detect pedestrians and cyclists in the path of the vehicle and can distinguish them from stationary objects. The driver is alerted to critical situations by visual and acoustic signals, giving the driver sufficient time to respond adequately to the situation.
“Legislators have also recognised the need for action and there are plans for a significant tightening of the licensing regulations for commercial vehicles in the future, which is a key driver for our work in this area,” adds Wolfgang Krinner. “With ProFleet Assist+, Knorr-Bremse and Mobileye are helping to create a safe environment for all road users.”
“Among the most serious road accidents are those in which a heavy vehicle hits a cyclist or pedestrian in the blind spot when making a turn. Such incidents can be prevented through the use of turning assistants. The strong partnership between Knorr-Bremse TruckServices and Mobileye enables us to offer our technologies and know-how to a broad market and help save lives and increase road safety for everyone,” comments Lior Sethon, Vice President and Deputy General Manager of the Intelligent Mobility Solutions Division at Mobileye.