Brigade Electronics provides a guide to vehicle camera technology
Vehicle camera systems have become commonplace for HGVs, trucks, construction vehicles and heavy equipment. As well as aiding driver manoeuvrability, they support road and site safety by eliminating vehicle blind spots and helping to prevent incidents.
However, deciding which vehicle camera to install can be difficult. Here Emily Hardy, from Brigade Electronics, provides some technical insight into which cameras are available, how they should be applied and whether you should consider upgrading to high definition (HD) format.
Front view cameras
Recommended for: machinery, road going haulage and delivery vehicles.
Due to the size and elevated driver position of machinery and trucks, a blind spot often exists to the front. A front view camera will eliminate this blind spot and help to prevent front vehicle damage. When choosing a camera, it’s worth bearing in mind health and safety directives in your sector so that these are fully covered.
For example, ISO 5006 stipulates that operators of earth moving machinery must be able to see a person 1.5m high within 1m perimeter around the machine. Additionally, for HGVs, blind spot directive 2003/97/EC (Class VI) requires that a front view camera is mandatory for forward speeds below 30kph.
Side view cameras
Recommended for: road going vehicles, including HGVs, buses, coaches, construction, and waste and refuse vehicles.
The nearside blind spot is accountable for many collisions. Most cyclists fatalities happen at low speeds, typically at road junctions and when pulling away from a stationary position.
Rear view cameras
Recommended for: all vehicles
Regardless of the type of vehicle, the rear blind spot is a huge problem with a huge 90% of reversing incidents occurring off road while one quarter of workplace deaths are caused by reversing vehicles. Reversing cameras are therefore a crucial piece of technology to prevent costly collisions, reduce damage, and save lives.
Recommended for: all vehicles.
Intelligent camera monitor systems, like Brigade Backeye 360, are designed to assist low speed manoeuvring by providing the driver with a complete surround view of the vehicle in real time.
Ultra-wide angle cameras mounted to the front, sides and rear of the vehicle capture the surrounding areas, including all blind spots. Simultaneous images from these cameras are then processed and ‘video stitched’ resulting in a 360-degree bird’s eye view in a single image.
Recommended for: agriculture, construction, quarrying, and waste and recycling.
A shutter camera can improve the life and visibility of a reversing camera considerably. Where vehicles operate in harsh environments, reversing cameras usually attract dirt and dust on the lens, blocking the driver’s view and rendering the camera useless. The shutter protects the camera by only revealing the lens when it is in use, reducing exposure time significantly. Brigade’s shutter camera has an operating temperature as low as -40 degrees C, and in-built heaters to melt away ice, meaning even in extreme temperatures it will function effectively.
Vehicle CCTV cameras
Used for: recording footage both inside and outside a vehicle.
Incidents involving vehicles are time consuming issues to resolve. Having recorded footage where there are conflicting reports of actual events or being able to prove a staged accident means companies can make major cost savings in the long-term. More importantly, they can also support their drivers, who are often the subject of increased scrutiny after an incident. Vehicle CCTV cameras provide an accurate witness and irrefutable evidence in the case of an incident.
Should I use high definition vehicle cameras?
One of the most recent additions to the vehicle camera system portfolio is high definition (HD) cameras. These do exactly what you would expect – provide images in high definition format, which are clearer and more defined. This makes HD ideal for industries such as construction and quarrying where safety is a huge concern.
However, there are a number of factors to consider before making the jump to HD. For example, if you already have a vehicle CCTV system installed, it is most likely not compatible with the HD camera. Likewise, recording in HD format will require more data and therefore use up a lot more space on a hard drive, or tear through data allowance for cloud-based storage, far more quickly.
In the event of a security incident, HD cameras are ideal for recording footage, supplying clearer images and making it easier to identify individuals, number plates and other important information that may be required for gathering evidence.
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