Published: 10th January 2023
Brigade’s SideScan Predict aids FM Conway in cyclist safety.
FM Conway is a leading infrastructure company delivering vital services in transportation, the built environment and open spaces. Covering a wide range of services, the company offers expertise across a multitude of disciplines including highways maintenance, water & drainage management, civil engineering, structures, aggregate & asphalt manufacturing, lighting and traffic management.
The company operates a large fleet of construction vehicles, many of which are used to transport goods by road. Road safety is therefore a top priority for the business. Along with many other initiatives the company is involved in improving safety standards, FM Conway is BS ISO 39001 certified for the international standard for Road Traffic Safety Management System.
Protecting cyclists and saving lives
As part of its commitment to road safety, FM Conway wanted a vehicle road safety system that could detect cyclists and be activated at all times – not just while the vehicle’s indicators were in use. Although this is not a mandatory requirement for such systems, it is recommended by both the Direct Vision Standard and FORS regulations. The company was also keen to find a product that did not create numerous false alerts and result in driver overload – something that is common on many existing systems.
Steve James, Transport Manager at FM Conway, explained more:
“Brigade approached us during the early development stages of its new Sidescan®Predict collision avoidance system and asked us to trial the device on our vehicles. The system met all the objectives we had set out, so it seemed like a perfect fit and ideal for what we wanted to achieve.
At FM Conway, we are passionate about safety – it is intrinsic to our company ethos – and this is reflected in our BS ISO 39001 certification. We strive to be at the forefront of new technology, so we were keen to see what Brigade’s system could do to enhance our safety credentials.”
Reducing False Credentials
Through the use of artificial intelligence, Brigade’s SideScan®Predict constantly gathers object detection data, such as the speed and distance of a cyclist or other vulnerable road user from the vehicle. Additional technology is embedded within the Sidescan®Predict system to gather information such as the speed, direction, acceleration, and the turning rate of a vehicle.
This data feeds an algorithm created by Brigade to calculate the risk of a collision with cyclists and pedestrians who are nearby the vehicle.
Unlike existing systems, which simply register the presence of a potential obstacle, Sidescan®Predict is constantly gathering data in a vehicle’s vicinity. This provides additional benefits to operators by significantly reducing false alarms and increasing confidence in the accuracy of warning alerts.
Greatly lessening the risk of fatalities
Designed for most rigid body vehicles, including rigid box vehicles, tippers, mixers, coaches and buses with a minimum length of 5.2m, Sidescan®Predict comprises six sensors which have a detection area of 2.5 metres, compared to the industry standard 1m to 1.5m. These features help to reduce the risk of fatalities by an additional 84%.
Mr James continued:
“We worked with Brigade for more than six months on the project and we now have approximately forty systems fitted to our grab and tipper vehicles that typically travel over 1.3 million miles per annum”
Dave Thomas, a driver for FM Conway, added:
“As a driver your worst nightmare is an incident occurring on the nearside blind spot. This [system] gives me peace of mind and there is no way I would want to drive a vehicle again without this device [Sidescan®Predict] fitted to it. It is like having another person sitting there guiding you.”
Fitting Sidescan®Predict to FM Conway’s fleet has even resulted in the company winning the Safer Transport & Logistics award at the MPA and British Precast Health and Safety Awards 2021.
Leon Simpson, SHEQ Advisor of FM Conway, said:
“One of our main strategies is reducing risk over the next 10 years through our Big Ten in 10 strategy that aims to eliminate the 10 greatest risks in our business; including occupational road risk – one of the biggest hazards. SidescanPredict is much more intuitive than our old detection system, which would constantly be bombarding drivers with false alerts causing a great deal of confusion and frustration.”
Sidescan®Predict’s features and benefits
- Sidescan®Predict is always switched on at speeds below 22mph/30kmh. Crucially, the collision protection is active with or without the indicators on. This is particularly important as it is recognised that some drivers become irritated by false alerts and therefore will avoid using their indicator so their system does not trigger alerts, potentially putting vulnerable road users at risk
- An auto brightness feature adapts Sidescan®Predict to lighting conditions in the cabin, so the visual alert is not lost among the numerous lights present in a modern cab
- Sidescan®Predict can be retrofitted to existing vehicles and the configuration software (a key USP) provides multiple system tests to ensure the sensors are appropriately positioned and correctly fitted for additional peace of mind
- An in-cab visual alert indicates if the system has a failure
- The system is competitively priced and comes complete in one box with a comprehensive user manual (which is also available online) and a training video
- Installation time is approximately six hours and integrates with other Brigade systems to provide a complete solution. Additional speed and indicator switches are not required, which reduces system and installation costs
- These next generation sensors have wider detection areas and therefore reduce risk