Scottish bus maker Alexander-Dennis Ltd (ADL) has introduced new rear-view camera technology to replace traditional mirrors on its Enviro series of single and double-decker buses.
The new Enviro buses can be specified with optional high-definition digital cameras and interior displays – supplied by aftermarket company Vision Systems – instead of traditional mirrors. The system, called SmartVision, serves to improve visibility and reduce the risk of accidents, particularly for vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and cyclists who may unwittingly be in the driver’s blind spot.
The view from the SmartVision cameras is digitally processed to compensate for lighting, shadows or glare while it is transmitted to the displays, which are mounted inside the cab to eliminate reflections from windows. The system offers the driver a normal mirror view at the top of the monitor and a wide angle view in the lower half. Screen brightness adjusts automatically to give the best visibility day and night.
The offside display is mounted on the A pillar, with the nearside display located centrally to avoid obstruction by an open door. The placement of cameras in similar locations to normal mirrors allows drivers to adjust easily.
SmartVision uses software to maintain image quality in all conditions, removing any distortion from rain drops or dirt on the lens, while an optional camera heater clears ice or fogging.
In addition to improved visibility for drivers, operators benefit from reduced risk of mirror damage or injury to passengers or pedestrians. Vision Systems expect a reduction in aerodynamic resistance will deliver a small fuel economy benefit, especially at higher speeds.
The camera system is mounted during vehicle assembly and fully supported by ADL’s aftermarket network. It is fully VCA certified for both the Enviro200 single decker and Enviro400 double decker.
First Glasgow and Trent-Barton have become the first operators to use the system. One Enviro400 for Glasgow’s service 75 is equipped with SmartVision, as is one Enviro200 for the i4 route in Nottingham.