Camera versus radar: how to chose the right PSS solution for your fleet?

Camera versus Radar PSS technology (Website) (2)

The countdown is on for fleet operators to ensure all heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) over 12 tonnes are DVS compliant to continue operations within the Greater London area. The new regulations come into play at the end of October 2024, meaning that HGVs will be required to have a minimum three-star DVS rating or fit a Progressive Safe System (PSS) to ensure compliance. Failing to comply could result in hefty fines.

The new standards, part of the Mayor of London’s Vision Zero plan, aim to reduce the number of incidents and fatalities involving vulnerable road users (VRU), such as pedestrians and cyclists, with the final goal of eliminating all fatalities by 2041. To tackle this, improving driver visibility in and around every HGV operating in Greater London is essential.

To be granted a three-star DVS rating, vehicles must meet strict standards, including the height and depth of windows and large mirrors to view the vehicle’s surroundings. However, replacing an entire fleet of vehicles is extremely costly so many operators will be taking the alternative approach to compliance by installing a new PSS.

When it comes to picking the right solution for a fleet, there are two options operators can look at. Radar technology and camera technology are both acceptable, but both have their differences.

Radar technology uses a combination of algorithms and radar pulses to detect the presence of cyclists and pedestrians in the surrounding area of an HGV. These waves can pick up on vulnerable road users up to 4.5m from the side of the vehicle and don’t rely on visibility so can therefore be used in adverse weather conditions and are not affected by changes in lighting.

However, radar technology can be limited in comparison to its AI-based camera counterpart, as it is less able to accurately determine multiple vulnerable road users and their locations. With 80,000 Londoners opting to commute via bike each day, it’s imperative that new systems can accurately detect all moving objects within the vehicle’s blind spots, such as cyclists, to avoid potentially fatal collisions on Greater London roads.

Fortunately, camera-based AI systems can do just that and more. During installation, a camera is fitted to the cab of the truck, with visibility covering the whole length of the cab and trailer. Like the radar-based system, the surrounding area of a vehicle is monitored, and alerts are sent to the driver should a risk be detected.

addsecure pss detection range diagram

Cameras have a much larger field of view, up to 40m along the near-side of the vehicle and can detect risks much quicker than radar technology. Not only can they detect things further away, but using AI technology, the cameras can detect multiple risks at any one moment, and alert drivers to the exact position of each potential risk around the vehicle. These cameras are also able to detect the direction of travel of each VRU and only raise an alert for those who are travelling towards the vehicle, massively reducing the number of false positives, and ultimately ensuring drivers are able to pay full attention to the road ahead. AI-based cameras also feature intelligent technology that can determine if VRUs are behind a barrier when in the vehicle’s danger zones, again further reducing unnecessary false alerts.


PSS AI camera showing direction of travel


Although alerts are sent directly to drivers, investing in technology that allows a driver to fully focus on the road ahead is key to the success of the Vision Zero initiative, allowing the technology to keep other road users safe. AI-based camera systems have a much lower risk of producing false positives, with a 96% success rate in reporting risks in the surrounding area of an HGV. Camera based systems are also connected to an in-cab monitor, which acts as a further driving aid, allowing the driver to have full vision of his blind spots instead of just receiving alerts. With less than six months to go, fleet operators who have yet to make changes to their fleet need to act now. It’s essential for thorough research into the different types of technology available to be done to ensure the best option for a fleet is chosen, and there is an understanding of the benefits and functionality of each. Solutions such as AddSecure’s PSS solution allow for holistic and accurate analysis of the surrounding areas of a HGV and can be easily installed, avoiding long-term out of action vehicles, eliminating the risk of future DVS-related fines and improving the safety of London roads.

Click to find out more about AddSecure’s PSS solution.