Improving Large Truck Cab Visibility – Using Technology to Make Better Decisions

Jim Olson, SVP of Safety, Republic Services

If you have ever been behind the wheel of a really large truck, you understand just how hard it is to see everything that’s in your path. Finding ways to increase cab visibility and decrease blind spots in large trucks can improve road safety and help reduce fatal crashes with vulnerable road users – pedestrians and bicyclists.

The good news is that the U.S. DOT’s Volpe National Transportation Systems Center is developing new technology to help the trucking industry identify truck cabs that offer better visibility for drivers. Better visibility means drivers can see vulnerable road users – allowing them to drive more confidently and safely. This new technology is called – VIEW – Visibility in Elevated Wide vehicles. VIEW is a web application prototyped by students at the Olin College of Engineering.

How does it work? Data for VIEW are 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.

To see the VIEW app in action, please click here.

VIEW will help companies that buy large trucks make better decisions when purchasing trucks for their fleet. Purchasing trucks with better cab visibility means less fatal crashes with vulnerable road users and more driver confidence with their ability to see the unforeseen.