Rule change would increase space to mount devices on windshields

by Today's Trucking

U.S. regulators are looking to increase the size of the area that can be used to mount safety devices on the inside of a commercial truck’s windshield.

Under the changes included in a Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM), devices like the cameras to support advanced driver assistance systems could be mounted 8.5 inches below the upper edge of the area swept by the windshield wipers. That’s more than double the four inches defined under today’s regulations.

Cascadia windshield
(File photo: Daimler Trucks North America)

A limit of no more than seven inches above the lower edge of the area swept by the windshield wipers would remain unchanged. And the equipment still wouldn’t be allowed to obstruct a driver’s sightlines to the road, signs, or traffic signals.

“The proposed amendments do not impose new or more stringent requirements, but simply codify the temporary exemptions granted,” the U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) notes. “More importantly, the amendments do not mandate the use of any devices/technologies, but simply permit their voluntary use while mounted in a location that maximizes their effectiveness without impairing operational safety.”

Daimler Trucks North America, one of several suppliers who have secured exemptions, petitioned for the regulatory change to allow for the cameras that support its attention assist and lane departure warning systems.

Hino was actually the first OEM to secure one of the five-year exemptions in August 2017, but similar allowances have also been made for systems developed by SmartDrive, JJ Keller, Navistar, Lytx, Nauto, Samsara, and Netradyne.

Traditional Trucking Corporation was also granted an exemption to mount its GPS devices no more than four inches below the upper edge of the area swept by the wipers.

While GPS devices don’t require a clear view of the road like a camera, mounting them on the dash rather than down below will help to keep a driver’s eyes on the road, FMCSA notes.

Antennas and similar devices still can’t be mounted more than six inches below the upper edge of the windshield.

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  • Why not just incorporate heads up technology into part of windscreen to display essential data? I’ve done it in my car using off the shelf components and have been using it for 3 years with out a single issue, the whole set up is linked to a onboard data recorder with a 1 terabyte ssd, front and rear camera linked to the data recorder cost approximately $ 600 cdn