A Safer Rear View

Imagine navigating a truck-trailer down the highway at 70 mph when you need to change lanes. Following safety protocols,  you check your mirrors, activate your turn signals and begin to maneuver into the next lane. Suddenly, a car appears in the lane beside you. The driver of this vehicle honks his horn, but the sound is muffled by the engine and the road noise. Luckily, the driver of the car slams on his breaks, narrowly avoiding collision with you and the vehicle behind him.

Now imagine the same scenario but with the assistance of a rear-mounted camera that provides vision for your blind spot. Before changing lanes, you see the road from all angles so you spot the car that your mirrors didn’t reveal. A potential catastrophe averted with the help of a small device.

Great Dane and ASA Electronics have introduced the industry’s smallest wireless camera system powered by wireless auto-pairing technology. The rear-mounted camera gives drivers increased awareness of the action behind their rigs on the road, in parking lots and during docking maneuvers. These cameras can help avoid accidents and increase driver and pedestrian safety.

ASA has a patent on the wireless auto-pairing of the transmitter to a monitor inside the truck cab. The auto-pair feature is unique in that no wired connector is necessary when hooking the truck to the trailer.

“ASA devoted over two years to developing our WiSight® wireless vehicle camera technology, with a large portion of that time spent performing real-world, over the road, performance testing,” said Jerry Maffetone, vice president of Engineering at ASA Electronics. “The key to the robust performance we were able to achieve is in the way our dynamically adjusting software and frequency-hopping technology ensure a continuous link between transmitter and receiver even in high RF interference environments. And our patented auto-pairing feature allows drivers to easily connect their monitors to different cameras as trailers are dropped and picked up.”

The wireless technology allows the video and audio from the paired camera to be played through the in-cab monitor. The camera’s embedded microphone alerts a driver if a passerby or pedestrian shouts during a backing maneuver, which is beneficial if the driver is not looking at the monitor at that moment.

ASA Electronics’ mini trailer cameras are mounted to the rear header and hardwired to a transmitter mounted on the trailer’s front wall just above the 7-way J560 receptacle. Both the camera and transmitter are powered via a J560. When a trailer outfitted with the ASA wireless camera and transmitter hooks to a truck with a compatible monitor, primary 7-way cable into the J560 receptacle to complete the pairing process.

ASA designed the system to accommodate different customer preferences. Some customers prefer to have the monitor on full-time, while others only want it to operate when the tractor gear is in reverse. Customizable display options can be easily selected using the simple software.

“Since ASA Electronics has complete control over the R&D process and platform, we have the ability to provide custom solutions to meet fleet-specific safety and operational goals,” said Justin Garver, CV National Accounts manager at ASA Electronics.

Drivers see detailed images for a minimum of 22 feet behind the trailer with this system. Additionally, the camera adds eight and a half feet of visibility in each lane adjacent to the trailer, creating a path of rearward sight that is a full 26 feet wide.

The system’s auto night brightness mode increases safety in the dark. All ASA cameras feature high quality IR LED lights that are rated at 0 lux. These allow the camera to produce detailed video from behind the trailer even when there is little or no ambient light.

ASA specifically tooled the camera so that it does not protrude beyond the protection of the drip edge, making it the smallest exterior camera in the industry. This helps to eliminate the possibility of damage from docking and makes it inconspicuous, decreasing the risk of theft.

Great Dane’s engineering team and ASA partnered to fully adapt the wireless auto-pairing system to Great Dane’s high standards. ASA created a production-friendly and aesthetically pleasing transmitter enclosure, which uses OEM-quality connectors that match the industry-leading durability standard set by Great Dane’s electrical system.

With this system, drivers have  a safer rear view that helps them and others on the road.