National Express is set to trial a digital camera monitoring system (CMS) in place of traditional wing mirrors on the new Caetano Levante IIIA.
The company will use Stoneridge-Orlaco’s MirrorEye system. It uses two internal monitors – one 15″ monitor mounted to the A pillar and a 12″ monitor mounted to the driver’s side – and two external high-definition cameras mounted in place of the usual mirror brackets. Both monitors use an ambient light sensor to adjust screen brightness. A third camera, known as the kerbside view, is expected to be available soon, which will enable a direct view in front of the vehicle.
National Express expects the system to provide better all-round visibility, remove blind spots, give improved night vision and reduce the risk of minor collisions. The removal of traditional mirrors will also decrease drag, improving fuel efficiency.
It joins other features on the Caetano Levante IIIA such as e-driver alerts, which draw drivers’ attention to vulnerable road users and obstructions within the blind spot area. Alerts are sent when radar sensors fitted behind the front wheels detect obstructions.
Two Levante IIIA coaches will be on trial in the coming months with partner operators Clarkes of London and Bruce’s Coaches to run short, medium and long-distance routes.
“The new Levante IIIA represents a step forward in the vehicle’s design,” says Tom Linnecor, Head of Engineering at National Express. “It takes driver technology to the next level by increasing the number of safety features and keeping our passengers and other road users front of mind.
“Working closely with Caetano, the majority of the latest changes implemented have stemmed from feedback from our drivers and engineers. In addition to improved visibility for drivers, the mirrorless coaches will also deliver significant fuel savings. We’re looking forward to getting the Levante IIIA out on the road and gaining as much insight as we can.”