Reverse engineering

When reversing safely, less is more with Aspöck RADAR.

Aspöck Systems has always been at the forefront of technology in vehicle lighting and safety systems. The Aspöck Ramp Distance Control (RDC), according to the manufacturer, has been hugely successful in protecting the rear of vehicles from damage when reversing towards loading docks – fleets clearly see the reduction in damage and incurred costs as a result.

The RDC uses two ultrasonic sensors to detect large objects or loading docks. Similar to passenger car reverse sensors though they cannot provide 100 per cent scanning over the rear of a trailer.

“Indeed, if you imagine how many sensors a car has then you can see that there is room for improvement when used on a truck, particularly if you want to detect smaller objects or even pedestrians?” said Aspöck Systems.

“Some other manufacturers are using three, four or even six sensors at the rear of a vehicle. These may well give improved coverage and detection but the trailer builder needs to mount all these sensors in suitable positions and the amount of wiring required clearly affects cost and long term durability.

“So, Aspöck has decided that ‘less is more’ and has created a new reverse aid which uses a single RADAR unit in place of the multiple ultrasonics. The RADAR will provide 100 per cent coverage of the rear of the trailer and almost any solid object or pedestrian of any size will be detected and trigger automatic braking.

“The sensor is just 108 x 124mm and preferably should be fitted near the centre line of the trailer. It can then be programmed to apply the brakes when a required distance from the detected item. Aspöck has customers who only require braking when the object is directly behind the trailer or others who require braking from 8m away.

“The programming can account for large overhangs at rear of vehicle such as containers for instance, and if there is part of the vehicle that could be detected then sensor can be told to ignore it.

“Once an object is picked up, Aspöck requests a brake application that can also be regulated to either stop the vehicle completely or alternatively only allow slow manoeuvring after detection. This allows vehicles to reach the loading area. Wabco, Haldex and Knorr-Bremse trailer electronic braking systems are all supported.”

Other advantages of the RADAR, according to Aspöck, relate to the performance of the sensor in heavy weather or contamination. Fog or snow will often distort the scanning of the ultrasonic sensors whilst contamination form road dirt can also inhibit the detection. RADAR is not affected by these and thus provides a significantly more reliable detection system.

“Finally, the system can be adapted to detect along the side of a vehicle, scanning up 8m again with a single unit,” said Aspöck Systems. “So, by adopting new technology Aspöck has simplified the design and installation of reversing aids as well as providing a significant upgrade to performance.”

For more information please contact or 00 44 1279 655220.

The benefits of using Aspöck RADAR

  • Single sensor provides 100 per cent detection over rear of trailer.
  • Can detect up to 10m from rear of trailer.
  • Pedestrian detection.
  • Detects in heavy weather or contamination.
  • Can be connected to Trailer EBS to provide braking function.
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