Differentiating & Detailing PreView Tech

How does Side Defender®II differ from the Sentry® blind spot monitoring system? Are the systems designed to be used in tandem with one another on a vehicle? What applications are each system best suited for?

PreView Side Defender®II and PreView Sentry® were designed as blind spot monitoring systems. Each is equipped to handle different proximity detection needs and scenarios within the heavy-duty industries.

The new Side Defender®II was designed for medium and heavy-duty trucks operating primarily on the road providing Lane Change Assist and Vulnerable Road User (VRU) detection. The Side Defender®II is intended to be installed on the sides of trucks with a fixed detection pattern extending up to 6 m to each side of the sensor and out 3 m (one lane width) from the side of the truck to alert the operator of only moving objects while ignoring stationary objects.

Side Defender®II’s system is oriented towards on-road trucks; when trucks try to merge or change lanes, the systems warns the driver of cars, motorcycles, or bikes (VRUs) in the side blind spot to avoid collisions. Side Defender®II has the added benefit of warning the driver of VRUs in the side blind spot of the truck, again to avoid side collisions.

Sentry is a short to medium range radar sensor designed for heavy-duty object detection and collision mitigation applications supporting up to 360-degrees of blind spot monitoring in medium and heavy-duty equipment. Sentry’s radar was designed with a wide-viewing capability, making it optimal for those with backing, forward, or side blind spot monitoring needs – offering the operator a cocoon of proximity detection and warning of threats.

Depending on the blind spot monitoring needs, the Sentry has a programmable detection pattern that can be configured specific to the intended application. Thus allowing for installation on the back, front, and sides of the equipment to warn the operator of the closest moving or stationary object.

Can you provide an overview of Side Defender®II’s system – how it works and what enhancements have been made?

Side Defender®II is the state-of-the-art side collision avoidance solution explicitly developed for over-the-road fleets in trucking, municipalities, waste, and recycling. Side Defender is an intelligent technology born of 20 years of experience in truck side radar systems. As our fourth iteration of the technology, it is a testament to our dedication to improving our systems by tackling the evolving needs of the industries we serve through the continuous use of our experience.

Side Defender®II is able to ignore stationary objects such as guardrails and parked cars while alerting on moving objects such as bicyclists and moving vehicles in the adjacent lane. The detection pattern for the Side Defender®II when the vehicle is stationary is approximately 5 m fore and aft of the sensor and 3 m from the side of the vehicle. When in motion, the detection pattern expands to 6 m fore and aft of the sensor.

VRU Operation

At speeds of 19mph or less, the Side Defender®II gives a priority to alerting the operator of moving bicyclists in the detection zone. A visual alert is provided on the in-cab display when a moving object is detected while both an audible and visual alert are provided when the turn signal is active and a moving object is detected. Stationary objects such as street signs and parked cars are ignored.

Lane Change Assist Operation

When the vehicle speed is above 19mph, the Side Defender®II gives priority to alerting on moving vehicles in the adjacent lane. Stationary objects such as guard rails or concrete barriers are ignored to minimize ‘nuisance alerts’. This mode is optimized for blind zone collision mitigation during lane changes and merges.

By filtering out extraneous objects, so only legitimate threats are sent to the operator, Side Defender®II improves awareness to avoid collisions.

What technologies are utilized within PreView’s system?

PreView’s proximity detection systems are radar-based. Our RADAR (Radio Detection and Ranging) technology uses FMCW (Frequency Modulate Continuous Waves), providing better object detection resolution and virtually instantaneous object information such as range, velocity, and angle. FMCW technology inherently performs poorly in close range, preventing detection of objects up to the face of the sensor, but our engineers have developed a proprietary method that mitigates this issue.

What enables the system to differentiate between stationary and moving objects? Why is this an important feature?

The importance of differentiating between stationary and moving objects has been a focus of PRECO’s since bringing the PreView family to fruition. When a heavy machine is in use, the operator needs to be aware of their surroundings, especially where they cannot see. This may seem obvious, but until now, there has been a lag in technology to solve this issue effectively.

When operating, being alerted to every object within range, even things you know are there and aren’t something to be worried about, would become quite a nuisance to anyone in that situation. Often, we have seen systems such as these being ultimately turned off, or ignored altogether, permeating an already dangerous situation, which is why, in the on-road system, operators normally only want to be alerted to moving objects, especially those moving towards the vehicle.

Understanding this struggle, we sought to create a solution intelligent enough to understand the difference between a high-level threat and a non-threat. By ignoring stationary objects*, the system can actively alert the operator only when needed, eliminating nuisance alarms, false positives, and reducing the risk of sideswiping during lane changes or hitting a vulnerable road user (VRU).

What enables the system to do this is the integration of speed messaging, CAN-bus integration, and intelligent technology within our systems. Using the information gathered through the CAN-bus, our technology can ignore stationary objects based on the selected detection zone, the speed of the machine/other objects, and proximity detection.

*street lights, guardrails, parked vehicles, benches, and buildings (when they are not detected by the speed monitoring system to be a danger within the range of the machine)

What is new about the enhanced version of this display?

The newest display for the Sentry and the Side Defender®II is a crucial enhancement driven by the industry’s growing interest. The PreView® v2 displays were designed for use with all the PreView CAN based sensors. These displays provide the operator with an audible and visual indication of the direction and proximity of detected objects and support from support from 1 to 8 PreView sensors installed in various positions around the vehicle or equipment. Through LED bars around the perimeter of the display, the D2002 uses colors and flash rate to indicate direction and proximity of detected objects. The audible rate also provides proximity information. The D2002 also has a secondary CAN-bus that acts as a listen only so it can be easily connected to the vehicles CAN-bus to obtain vehicle information such as its speed, turn signal status and reverse status without causing interference.

In addition to the functionality of the D2002, the G2000 utilizes an external GPS antenna to provide the vehicle speed information required by some advanced PreView sensors.

What makes PreView’s story different from other similar types of systems on the market?

PRECO was established in 1947 when we engineered, designed, and manufactured the well-known backup alarm, which can now be found across all industries.

With this background in alarms, cameras, monitors, and mirrors, PRECO began to understand early on what each of these systems was wrong: a large margin for human error. Lights and alarms outside of equipment require people to move out of the way to avoid being injured; the safe operation of mobile machines was dependent on those in the surrounding area; and cameras required operators to be actively engaged and alert, while watching the feed on the monitor and make maneuvers with limited awareness of the surrounding area. Which is why we decided to put the solution back in the cab, and into the hands of the driver.

In creating PreView’s radar technology, our engineers have mitigated these issues. Built to outlast the machines they are made to protect, our robust systems can withstand any environment and all-weather conditions with unfaltering reliability.

In successfully reducing nuisance alerts by differentiating between potential hazards and non-hazards, we believe PreView’s intelligent proximity detection technology is now the only blind spot radar in the market capable of consistently ignoring stationary objects.