Vision Plus Pedestrian Detection Aid, developed by Taylor Machine Works, incorporates what the company calls video-based pattern recognition technology.
Here’s the layman’s explanation of how the Vision Plus system’s patented technology works: Video cameras placed in strategic locations on the machine—could be one for rearview only or multiple for 360-degree coverage—continually send images to a computer processor, which, in real time, scans the images and searches for characteristics specific to the human form, such as shape, appendages, oscillating legs, relative size and relative motion. If the system determines that a human is, indeed, within the camera’s view, then the machine operator receives an audio/visual alert via an in-cab monitor.
The system not only can determine an upright pedestrian’s distance from the machine (minimum detection range is at least 45 feet), but also can track the paths of both a moving pedestrian and a moving machine. The system then uses this information to determine if pedestrian and machine are on a collision course.
The system’s monitor has a large graphic indicating the four quadrants around the machine, each quadrant having a yellow light. If a pedestrian is detected and the yellow light (caution) illuminates in the appropriate quadrant, accompanied by the system’s audio alarm, then the potential path of the detected pedestrian and the potential path of the machine are not on a collision course—but the operator is alerted to visually locate the pedestrian before proceeding.
If, however, the system determines that the potential paths of machine and pedestrian are on a collision course, then a flashing red light joins the yellow light, and the audio alarm’s intensity increases, indicating to the operator that the machine should be stopped immediately and the situation resolved.
According to Taylor Machine Works, advantages of the Vision Plus system include limiting the number of alerts given to the operator by reporting only pedestrians, not every object in the camera’s view, and the system’s ability to detect any number of pedestrians, stationary or moving.
The system has application for most off-highway mobile equipment, says the company, but it does advise that, since the system depends on line-of-sight, impediments to camera views, such as stationary objects or inclement weather, could diminish capabilities.
For retrofit situations, the Vision Plus system requires a power source and ground, plus signals for forward/reverse motion and ground speed. The basic system can be supplemented with an external audio alarm and beacon on the machine to warn pedestrians that they have been detected as being in the collision path of the machine.