Visionary-B 3D assistance to prevent backward driving accidents

For one of Europe’s largest sugar manufacturers, the constant delivery of raw materials by truck after harvest and their redistribution by wheel loader, means a massive, continuous logistical effort. To prevent collisions and improve worker safety, Cologne-based sugar producer Pfeifer & Langen selected SICK Automation’s Visionary-B CV 3D driver assistance system for use at its reloading point.

The 3D camera sensors contained in the Visionary-B deliver real-time imagery with optical and acoustic warning signals for improved collision warning. This is the case even under changing weather conditions, such as strong sun, rain, snow or early sundown.

The 3D snapshot technology evaluates the position of relevant obstacles using the single check principle. Intelligent algorithms, developed by SICK, filter information that is not relevant for the driver, e.g., curbs, small stones, rain, or fog, out of the vehicle environment. This means that the driver assistance system only warns the driver in critical situations.

The goal was to find a solution which would satisfy company management, safety officers and operators, as well as a partner who was ready to develop concrete solutions on-site. Due to its versatile experience with the Visionary-B as a driver assistant for large work machines and the reliable feasibility statement resulting from this, SICK proved it was the ideal partner. The presence of SICK employees’ onsite and their close supervision were the final dealmakers in Pfeifer & Langen selecting SICK Automation.

The 3D solution assists large wheel loader drivers’ during manoeuvring and unavoidable reversing when redistributing the raw sugar material by monitoring the blind spots directly behind the vehicle, for example. A dual system was installed to protect the hard-to-see sides of the vehicle at the same time. The camera sensors mounted on the rear right and left sides of the wheel loader send a live image to two separate screens in the driver’s cabin, which are mounted on the right and left sides like exterior mirrors.  

For drivers, there is the very pleasant “trained behaviour” feature. Due to the “familiar” arrangement reminiscent of rear-view mirrors, they can reliably operate using the assistant right away without any learning phases. The onsite test runs proved their effectiveness.

The high acceptance by drivers, who rated the assistance system as impressive, was especially notable. They also found the system a helpful instrument for increasing operational safety. The Visionary-B CV helps drivers operate sustainably to protect humans and materials.

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