As the transportation industry grows, companies and governments are continually looking for ways to make the industry safer for professionals and other drivers on the highway. For this reason, Iteris, a traffic management market company, developed the Lane Departure Warning System, a device that warns travelers who are drifting into another lane of traffic with an audible noise.
In 2000, the system pioneered in Europe. With more driving regulations than in the United States, the continent was a prime place for testing the system. In 2002, some North American heavy-haul trucks were the first in the United States and Canada to implement the technology. Finally, Japanese made trucks began to use the Lane Departure Warning System in 2007.
For the past seven years, trucks have been equipped with the system because it works. When a truck begins to drift out of its lane, the sensor emits a rumble strip like sound, warning the driver audibly. The system is also designed not to warn the driver if a turn signal is applied.
The Lane Departure Warning System detects movement out of the designated lane via machine vision, or video processing. According to the company’s web site, the video imaging system is meant to duplicate the human eye, taking videos that are then processed and analyzed for dangerous situations.
According to Transportation Topics, Iteris has not only developed an innovated system that allows truckers to keep safe on the road, but also the system has been profitable for the company. The company’s net income was $7.9 million this fiscal year, up from $1.6 million a year ago. According to the company, 62 heavy-duty truck fleets, or 45,000 trucks, use the company’s Lane Departure Warning System. The company continues to test the product on another 82 fleets, or 160,000 trucks.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the system is helpful for keeping all drivers on the road safe. This statement is confirmed by statistics. In fact, according to Iteris’ web site, four truck fleets traveling 553 miles with the system managed to reduce their number of accidents due to lane shifts and wandering by 82.5 percent. Although the system’s warnings are helpful for keeping drivers alert and safe so they can correct their mistakes before they turn into accidents, the never took any action to automatically correct the driver’s actions—until now.
The truck system was so popular in the transportation industry that makers of passenger vehicles soon adopted the technology. Not only are the passenger vehicles using the system, however, but also they are approving it. The Nissan Infiniti launched a vehicle this year that not only has the Lane Departure Warning System, but also the Lane Departure Prevention system. This system not only alerts drivers when they are departing for the lane, but also uses steering features to correct their driving.
Thanks to innovative companies and support by federal agencies, safety technology for heavy-duty trucks is making Leaps and Bounds. Although the Lane Departure Warning System is an excellent technology for keeping everyone on the road safe, improvements to the system will make the roads even safer.