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Hyster developing systems to improve driver awareness

Nov 07, 2017
Hyster is exploring and developing an increased range of options for truck-to-truck, truck-to-object and truck-to-pedestrian detection systems.

Combined with cameras, telematics and other technologies, ‘connected’ Hyster fleets are delivering greater productivity and visibility for the operators of tomorrow.

The system automatically detects objects, with multiple sensors that adjust their range with the vehicle speed. It detects objects while driving in a straight line as well as during turning manoeuvres where the tail of the truck is either leading or swinging. When an object is detected, the operator is warned through haptic and audible alerts like a vibration and buzzer. The driver can then react accordingly.

“Lift truck drivers and pedestrians need to maintain proper awareness of each other,” said Ed Stilwell, Functional System Leader for Hyster. “Technology can help with this, but to be effective it must meet the specific needs of the handling application.”

“Lift trucks, for instance, manoeuvre in many different directions, but often have reduced visibility for the driver, compared with a car,” said Ed. “Existing technologies from the automotive sector are often not advanced enough for these complex needs.”

Larger material handling machines, such as those used in ports and in some moving companies for handling containers in the yard, require significant space to operate, needing ample room to accommodate the ‘tail swing’ of the rear end. Furthermore, the load at the front of the truck when travelling forwards and backwards needs extra space and can inhibit the driver’s view.

In addition to detection systems, Ed Stilwell says that cameras can also help to improve visibility in certain applications, making it possible to view the immediate area surrounding a truck and the load. To keep operators focussed on the load and the path ahead, cameras can be set to activate only when an object is detected and then display an image on screen.

Cameras can be used to assist with container engagements and multiple camera views can be stitched together into one image so the operator doesn’t have to spend valuable seconds trying to figure out what view a camera is displaying.

Hyster maintains that although the operator must always be responsible for the safe operation of the machine, technology can assist where visibility may be limited.

Photo: Hyster’s object sensing system uses multiple sensors.

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