One thing every fleet manager knows is that accidents – even ones where nobody was injured – are expensive in admin time and money. You can spend months sorting out who was to blame, dealing with solicitors and insurers, perhaps the local Council too if the person injured works in the public sector or has contacts there. So prevention is better than cure. Ford is introducing a “Smart Mirror” – a high-definition screen that displays a panoramic rear view for the driver of Transit and Transit Custom vans.
The Full Display Interior Mirror helps drivers to spot cyclists, pedestrians and other vehicles that may be behind them, even when windowless rear doors or partitions are in the way. As more food, goods and other services are now ordered online and delivered to the home, it’s important that drivers can get the maximum view on busy streets and homeowners driveways.
The display shows a live feed from a camera on the rear of the van and features automatic brightness control for optimum visibility in daylight and at night. The system offers a field of view that is twice the width of a conventional rear-view mirror. This helps drivers to be more aware of their surroundings, for example, when approaching roundabouts, changing lanes or checking before merging or turning into side streets.
“Providing our drivers with maximum visibility – especially in urban areas where there is so much to look out for – increases their confidence and is a key part of making journeys safer for them, and for other road users as well”, said Owen Gregory, director, Commercial Vehicle Aftersales, Ford of Europe.
Fitting the system may also improve uptime – the time when commercial vehicles are working on the road – by reducing the need for costly accident damage repairs. Ford last week announced FORDLiive – a new connected uptime system designed to help maximise vehicle uptime.
The mirror, which will cost close to £675, is available for Ford Transit and Transit Custom vans fitted with windowless rear doors. Any Ford dealer can order and fit the system, which is compatible with Transit vans built from 2014 and Transit Custom models built from 2012.