The next generation of Eaton Corp.'s VORAD safety system starts with a 77-GHz radar unit that integrates an electronic controller in a single plastic housing and mounts to a standard bumper to provide drivers with a collision warning system. The modular design of the new VORAD VS-400 also introduces a new in-cad driver display and can be upgraded to include the Blindspotter side object detecting sensor and SmartCruise adaptive cruise control.
In addition, the extraction and real-time wireless transfer of data (such as following distance) is now available with a new VORAD onboard computer (OBC), the VS4500, which can be combined with a subscription to Eaton's Fleet Resource Manager safety package. The Fleet Resource Manager is powered by @Road, a web-based mobile resource management tool for the trucking industry.
“Our goal is to take VORAD to a whole new level by making it an integral part of overall fleet safety,” says Phil Warmbier, marketing manager for Eaton's Vehicle Solution business unit. “As part of the Fleet Resource Manager safety package, VORAD now becomes even more effective by giving fleets the ability to monitor, benchmark and proactively improve driver and fleet safety. With Fleet Resource Manager, VORAD users will have the ability to quickly and accurately access safety information wirelessly and in real-time,” he added.
The new VORAD VS400 will be available on a limited quantity basis beginning in April, with full production availability slated for June 2007.
The new 77-GHz radar comes fully integrated with an electronic controller for collision warning and adaptive cruise control. The new radar is 70% lighter and 60% smaller than the EVT-300 radar it is replacing. The single new unit also replaces the separate EVT-300 radar and CPU, reducing the number of wires from 18 to 4 for easier installation.
According to Warmbier, the new driver interface unit is intuitive and user-friendly. It features visual and audio alerts; configurable left/right speaker capability; and is user- programmable with the capability to accept driver ID and up to four personal identification numbers (PIN). It will also support current lane-departure warning systems and other technologies that follow defined protocol structure.
The new VORAD VS4500 OBC, which provides the foundation for accessing safety-related data, is fully compatible with all major cell and satellite network providers. The device captures vehicle and safety information and uses the Fleet Resource Manager system to produce reports that fleets can use to make real-time improvements to their operations.
The basic VORAD package — without the Fleet Resource Manager's data-capture capability — is available through all OEMs as a factory-installed option and through the aftermarket as a retrofit. But pre-wiring systems, bumper designs and installation procedures may vary from one OEM to another, according to Eaton.
“Because no two fleets are exactly alike, we see no reason why any one of our customers should have to settle on one safety system,” says Warmbier. “Everyone now has the option to go with a standard VORAD system, or tie into the ultimate safety package with our Fleet Resource Manager mobile resource management solution.”