Cameras replace side mirrors: innovation helps VDL Bus & Coach achieve ambitions
Cameras in combination with two screens in the bus replace side mirrors, further improving the driver's ability to drive safely and comfortably. At Busworld, VDL Bus & Coach will demonstrate an innovation in which cameras replace the side mirrors. The system will soon be implemented in both the Citea and Futura ranges.
“It ensures you have good visibility in all weather conditions,” explains Alex de Jong, Business Manager Public Transport at VDL Bus & Coach. “In busy city traffic, when approaching a roundabout for example, that is very beneficial. It makes manoeuvring safer, because you no longer have a blind spot. The system is equipped with night vision, so the driver's view is greatly improved in the dark too.”
Fewer repairs and less maintenance
Pieter Gerdingh, Business Manager Coach at VDL Bus & Coach, adds, “Without mirrors on the outside of the bus you have less drag. Depending on use and conditions, this has a positive impact on fuel economy, with a reduction of up to 4%. It also makes a difference in terms of repairs and maintenance, because mirrors get damaged regularly and now there is no longer any need to clean them. Ultimately, this leads to an even lower TCO.”
The system has been extensively tested in all weather conditions: in cold and warm climates, during the day and night and in rain, snow, fog and sleet. Visibility must be perfect under all conditions. New European legislation that went into effect on 1 July 2019 allows vehicles with mirror replacement systems. VDL Bus & Coach will start selling this option next spring, so deliveries can begin in the summer of 2020. In the first phase, the mirrors cover sight field-of-vision classes II and IV. The other classes will follow in the near future.
Innovation contributes to achieving objectives
The introduction of cameras that replace the side mirrors is in line with VDL Bus & Coach's vision to introduce innovations that meet the demands of the market. The system contributes to achieving the ‘Aiming for Zero’ ambition and strengthening the position that VDL Bus & Coach currently occupies as a front runner in the field of e-mobility in Europe. VDL Bus & Coach's electric buses are collectively nearing the 50 million kilometre mark.
The introduction of the camera system on the Futura range will contribute to achieving the objective ‘Profitability has a new name’. The Futura is keeping pace with new developments that improve sustainability, optimize the design, further lighten the already lightweight construction and have a positive impact on boosting fuel economy.
During Busworld, Europe's largest trade fair for buses and coaches, to be held this year in the Belgian capital at Brussels Expo from 18 to 23 October, VDL Bus & Coach will show the camera system on two vehicles: the Citea LLE-120 diesel bus and the Futura FHD-129 coach. The two wide screens that display the camera images in the bus are positioned so they do not obstruct the driver's view. When the bus is started, the cameras are automatically configured optimally.
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