New joint venture company to promote cycle safety

FuelDefend Global, a leading supplier of fuel anti-theft devices to the commercial vehicle industry, has announced a new joint venture (JV) company with UK-based Autosonics, a market leader in the development of safety and security systems.


Sidewarn
The JV will see FuelDefend at the heart of the global sales drive for the SideWarn! cyclist and pedestrian-detection sensor. The SideWarn! system was developed by Autosonics to provide a simple, cost-effective solution for truck and bus operators to improve their awareness of the presence of more vulnerable road users. A number of deaths of these road users in recent weeks have led to increasing concerns over cyclist and pedestrian safety in busy, urban areas.

The SideWarn! system is particularly effective because it provides alerts for both driver and cyclist, ensuring the onus to improve safety on the road is shared. The in-cab warning system prepares the driver with a red LED light and buzzer when a cyclist comes into the predetermined danger area around 0.5m from the vehicle. At the same time an external 90 dB alarm alerts the cyclist of the potential danger, with an optional external warning light to combat cyclists using headphones. Sensors running along the side of the truck are activated by a combination of vehicle speed and indicators, the system is active up to at speeds of up to 15mph, and are automatically triggered by the indicators when the vehicle is turning.

Jamie MacSween Managing Director of Autosonics said: “There are products on the market that either don’t activate in time to be effective or are set off so frequently the driver becomes immune, or switches off the system. Our research and testing over the last 10 years has allowed us to find the best balance to operate in real world conditions.”

Mr MacSween continued: “As associate members of FORS, the London-based Fleet Operators Recognition Scheme, we have had our products tested and approved by a number of major OEMs and follow all TfL guidelines”

Russell Fowler, Chairman of FuelDefend said: “As our city’s roads become more and more crowded it’s important to find ways to allow all road users and pedestrians to coexist safely. The SideWarn! system is a tried-and-tested solution which can be fitted by manufacturers or bought as an aftermarket product.

We have chosen Autosonics as our partner in this increasingly important sector, not only because of their proven track record, but also thanks to their UK-wide network of installation and service engineers, which allows us to offer a standard three year warranty with installation of the product. Autosonics produce the best value product in the market. It has already proven to pay for itself through reduced vehicle damage as well as being a great safety tool to protect more vulnerable road users.”