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Imperial Logistics uses technology for safer, greener operations 03 February 2016

Costs are undoubtedly outweighed by safety benefits

State-of-the-art transport industry technology, like in-cab cameras, lane assist and proximity control, does not come cheap, but Imperial Logistics believes that the cost of this high-tech equipment is undoubtedly outweighed by its safety benefits.

The Company has instituted a policy to install in-cab camera system ‘DriveCam’ in every truck in its fleet. It is an initiative that began in 2013, when Tanker Services snapped up the new technology shortly after its launch, and began a project to install and test in-cab cameras in its vehicles.

Imported from the US, DriveCam is based on a dual-lens in-cab video camera and reporting software. Through its two wide angle lenses, the camera records what is happening on the road ahead of the truck as well as in the cab. Its built-in gravity sensor ensures that footage is stored whenever the vehicle is subjected to forward or sideways movement beyond predefined parameters.

Following on from the success of Tanker Services’ pilot project, Imperial took the decision to install DriveCam in all of its trucks. The sole purpose of the camera is to mitigate risks for the client, driver, other road users and pedestrians.

DriveCam has already proved its worth in many instances, and cites several accidents in which the technology revealed that driver error was not the cause of the collision. After analysing the videos, it was discovered that in 90.0% of the cases reviewed, it was not the driver’s fault.

Far from resting on its laurels with the successful group-wide implementation of in-cab cameras, Imperial is continuing to investigate new technology that will further enhance safety. One such option that is currently being considered is MobilEye. This Advanced Driver Assistance System incorporates features that include pedestrian collision warning, lane departure, forward collision warning, headway monitoring, intelligent head beam activation and speed limit indication.

Additionally, trucks with automatic transmissions are already capable of some ‘green’ driving techniques that exceed the capabilities of their human drivers. It is for this reason that Imperial, as a group committed to sustainability and environmental considerations, uses only automatic vehicles. The latest automatic gear boxes have a computer connected to the engine and gear box. This computer decides on the amount of torque that the driver needs and will select the right gear for a particular route or hill and for the power and speed requirements. It selects the optimal gear for fuel efficiency and environmental considerations. This is known as the ‘green band’.

Every truck in Imperial’s fleet also has electronically controlled braking systems with both ABS (antilock braking system) and EBS (electronic braking stability).