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How a Few Simple Measurements Can Identify Trucks With Superior Cab Visibility

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Large trucks represent 4 percent of registered vehicles but are involved in 7 percent of fatal crashes with vulnerable road users: pedestrians and bicyclists. 

The U.S. DOT Volpe Center is developing new technology to help the U.S. trucking industry identify truck cabs that offer superior direct vision. Trucks with superior direct vision can help drivers see vulnerable road users and drive more confidently and safely.  

Visibility in Elevated Wide vehicles (VIEW) is a low-cost web application prototyped by students at the Olin College of Engineering who were sponsored by the Santos Family Foundation and worked under guidance from Volpe Center experts. Data for VIEW is gathered with a standard smartphone, a measuring pole, and a camera stand. The web application calculates a direct vision rating based on the visible space near the truck cab.  

In August 2018, the Volpe Center, Together for Safer Roads, and waste disposal company Republic Services convened a demonstration of the VIEW system. The video below shows how data is captured for the VIEW application, which municipalities and others can use to inform purchasing decisions on trucks that offer superior direct vision.

Watch the video and contact Volpe Center engineer Alex Epstein, PhD, for more on the prototype VIEW system.

Video: Measuring Blind Spots in a Large Truck

Watch the video to see how data is captured for the VIEW app.
View of the street from a large truck cab
Large truck cabs have blind spots that can limit visibility of vulnerable road users. (Volpe photo)