Brussels university develops sensor to avoid blind spot accidents

Research center Imec and eXia, a spin-off of the VUB (University Brussels), have developed the ‘Active Side Guard Blind Spot Sensor’, a revolutionary warning system that should prevent blind spot accidents involving trucks.

Last year, the number of fatal blind spot accidents increased by 10% to a record level of 136 casualties. For comparison, in 2020, ‘only’ 69 people were killed by a blind spot accident. In many of these blind spot accidents trucks were involved. Unfortunately, the existing warning systems, like radar sensors, are not always efficient or reliable.

Flawless detection

The newly developed ‘Active Side Guard Blind Spot Sensor’ is the first system worldwide to use low-frequency electronic fields to detect vulnerable road users in the blind spot of a truck. In contrast with the existing radar systems, the sensors ensure an advanced spatial detection process and flawless detection of all vulnerable road users.

The brand-new system is also more solid and weather-resistant than existing detection systems, meaning it continues to function reliably in all situations and on all freight vehicles, helping to ensure the safety of vulnerable road users. The system’s warnings are based on analyses of speed, distance to obstacles, and expected driver actions.

15 years of research

The research that preceded this new tool took 15 years and was co-financed (€420,000) by the Flemish government. “This new generation of blind spot sensors is closely aligned with the updated European General Safety Regulations that recognize and tackle the blind spot problem,” concludes Flemish Minister of Mobility and Public Works Lydia Peeters (Open Vld).

Initiatives like this Active Side Guard project are crucial and illustrate the power of collaboration between academic institutions, industry, and government,” she adds.

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