LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Iteris has brought its popular lane departure warning system to the Canadian market where it’s now available through Freightliner.
The AutoVue Lane Guidance warning system can be likened to virtual rumble strips that warn drivers when they’ve strayed beyond the edge of their lane. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in the U.S. estimates more than 43 per cent of all fatal accidents that occurred in 2001 resulted from an improper lane or road departure. Iteris says it hopes to reduce traffic accidents substantially with its lane departure warning system.
"It’s like having another set of eyes," says Bill Patrolia, director of North American truck sales with Iteris. "It promotes a keen sense of where you are in the lane."
Inattentive or drowsy drivers are blamed for more than 1.5 million accidents on U.S. roads each year, but fleets can now combat the problem with the new system. It also encourages safer driving techniques, since the alarm will sound each time a driver changes lanes without signaling.
"It conditions you to use your turn signals," says Patrolia, noting the signal lights override the system preventing what the company refers to as ‘nuisance alarms.’
Two major U.S. fleets are spec’ing all new tractors with the system, and so far they’ve had nothing but praise for the safety tool. Praxair and Cargo Transporters are two of the largest fleets to have bought into the system.
"We have an excellent safety record, but the AutoVue Lane Guidance is making it even better," says John Pope, president of Cargo Transporters.
User surveys indicate that the system is being widely accepted by drivers, who have indicated it makes them feel safer.
"Every one of them has indicated it makes them a better, safer driver," says Patrolia. "The drivers like it and it’s the most cost-effective safety tool available."
A key stage in the development of the product has been reducing nuisance alarms, and this has been achieved in the latest versions of the product. There’s also an on/off switch so a driver can deactivate the system when in construction zones or other low-speed areas which may trigger nuisance alarms.
Iteris’ AutoVue lane departure warning system retails for about US$2,000 and more information can be obtained at Freightliner dealerships or at www.iteris.com.
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