Eaton Corporation has introduced its next-generation Vorad safety system, the VS-400, available on a limited-quantity basis in April with full production in June. It’s a modular design, and very different from previous versions – incompatible with them, in fact. It’s been effectively integrated into the company’s Fleet Resource Manager safety package, giving managers the ability to monitor, benchmark and proactively improve driver and fleet safety. With RF, cell, and GPS wireless capability built in, users will be able to access safety information wirelessly and in real-time. Fleet Resource Manager is powered by @Road, a web-based mobile resource management tool aimed specifically at the trucking industry. Among the system’s capabilities are fuel-tax recording, trip recording, ECM fault-code reading, and vehicle position tracking. The launch also includes the introduction of a new 77-GHz radar, which makes it capable worldwide, and a new LCD driver interface unit. Customers will have the option to buy any one or all VORAD offerings — a standard collision warning system with forward-looking radar can be expanded with Blindspotter side sensor and SmartCruise adaptive cruise control. They can be purchased separately or together as one package, and don’t require a subscription to Fleet Resource Manager. The new 77-GHz radar unit is 70% lighter and 60% smaller than the existing EVT-300 radar. It also replaces both the EVT-300 radar and CPU and reduces the amount of wires from 18 to four resulting in easier and faster installation. All wiring can be done in the engine compartment. Significantly, it allows the use of standard bumpers, not Vorad-specific ones as in the past. The new driver interface unit is said to be intuitive and user-friendly. It features visual and audio alerts and is user-programmable with the capability to accept driver identification and up to four personal identification numbers. It will also support current lane departure warning systems and other technologies that follow defined protocol structure. The new Vorad in-vehicle device is fully compatible with all major cell and satellite network providers, Eaton says. The device captures vehicle and safety information and uses the Fleet Resource Manager system to produce reports that fleets can use to make real-time improvements to their operations. The basic Vorad package (without the Fleet Resource Manager data capture capability) is available through all North American OEMs as a factory-installed option, and through the aftermarket as a retrofit system. Pre-wiring systems, bumper designs and installation procedures may vary from one OEM to another, Eaton says.
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