HOW THE ENTRY WORKS
The large vehicle passing maneuver assistance device (LVPMAD) is designed to assist motorists to safely pass a large vehicle. The LVPMAD processors would track the speed of the large vehicle, location and speed of the passing vehicle. Inclinometer would determine road grade (which drastically affects braking distance), and decelerometer would determine braking characteristics based on truck weight and load. LVPMAD would also collect GPS information. All sensors, LED warning lights and road scanning cameras are contained in a license plate-sized device affixed to the front of the large vehicle in the center.
The LVPMAD is activated when the device detects a passing vehicle. A “X” pattern warning, (See accompanying ILLUSTRATION and short video) visible in the motorist's rearview mirrors, will begin flashing on the exterior of the display to alert the motorist. Once the passing vehicle moves beyond the large vehicle hazardous zone, the “X” will be replaced by sequencing arrows “<<<” which will indicate the motorist may carefully merge into the large vehicle's lane. LVPMAD sensors continuously calculate and adjust the hazardous zone throughout the passing maneuver. The warning signals are same shape and color of current traffic safety signals so as to shorten the acceptance and general awareness of the safety device among the motoring public.
The purpose of the LVPMAD is to reduce accidents, deaths and injuries caused by improper passing maneuvers. The LVPMAD provides the motorist with additional information in personally determining when they may safely move in front of a large vehicle based on their own driving skill, conditions, and vehicle type.
WHAT MAKES IT NOVEL
The device is novel in that it brings together in a single device several recently developed automotive technological innovations, such as cameras, GPS, radar, inclinometer, decelerometer to improve safe interaction between large vehicles and the motoring public.
HOW IT WOULD BE INTRODUCED
The LVPMAD would be first introduced to the trucking industry for use on over-the-road trucks. Trucks constitute most of the large vehicle traffic in miles and number. The LVPMAD would next be introduced to the recreational vehicle industry to aid inexperienced large vehicle drivers avoid passing maneuver accidents. The construction and dump truck industry would be the next market segment where the LVPMAD could prove useful at improving highway safety.
WHERE IT WOULD BE APPLIED
Though the LVPMAD would improve the safe operation of any vehicle, it is best suited for large vehicles where speed and stopping distances differ greatly from those of passenger vehicles. The LVPMAD would provide the greatest benefit to large over-the-road combination vehicles; recreational vehicles, particular fifth-wheel style RVs: construction vehicles with lowboy equipment trailer and multi-axle vehicles such as dump trucks, wreckers and other large vehicles which have a wide range of load weights and thus substantial changes in braking characteristics. The LVPMAD would only be operational on freeway type highways with passing traffic being on the left and/or the right of the large vehicle. The device would be disabled if oncoming traffic is detected.