Stoneridge’s MirrorEye camera system was just approved by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, or the FMCSA, as an alternative to cameras. Here are five things you need to know about the decision if you are a driver a truck or work in carrier logistics:
1. The decision — or the “exemption” — is only for five years.
The FMCSA gave a five-year exemption for the use of MirrorEye systems. Unless that exemption becomes a permanent rule that trucks can switch out their mirrors for cameras, early adoption could be temporary and too expensive to consider.
2. The switch from mirrors to cameras reduces drag.
Even the little things matter. Mirrors aren’t aerodynamic, and they cause drag. By getting rid of them and switching to flatter cameras, fuel efficiency improves. Stoneridge, MirrorEye’s company, estimates a 2-4% improvement.
3. The monitors keep all the visual data in the driver’s line of sight.
Repetitive motions are behind a lot of semi-truck drivers’ injuries and chronic pain. While turning to look out both mirrors isn’t at the top of the list, it’s certainly been a concern. But the monitors for camera-based systems are positioned where drivers can see them at all times. That keeps the drivers safer and also means they get an earlier warning about sudden driving developments.’
4. They have promising results for low visibility conditions.
Mirrors don’t do well in bad winter weather. Snow, fog, and ice all reduce mirrors’ effectiveness when drivers need them the most. Cameras don’t have the same vulnerability. Cameras also have settings to increase the contrast or switch to a more “night vision” filter after sunset.
5. They’re the next stepping stone toward autonomous trucks.
Many companies already have autonomous semi-trucks. But the trends are increasingly pointed towards a middle ground: trucks that offer sophisticated driving assistance. With safety features like alerts, early warning sensors, and cameras to reduce blind spots, there’s more of a growing market for smart trucks instead of self-driving ones.
For more trucking news and safe driving updates, go to J.E.B. Insurance Services, LLC here. We provide commercial truck insurance in the states of Florida, Georgia, Texas, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Illinois, Iowa, and Nebraska.