Lens-Tech puts focus on safety by tackling blind spots for vans

Commercial Motor
May 4, 2020

This article was taken from the first issue of our Product Innovation Daily magazine series. Click here to read the first magazine, completely free.

Fresnel truck lens manufacturer Lens-Tech has launched a blind-spot product aimed at the rapidly expanding commercial van sector.

The Vantage Point lens is said to provide an extra 30 degrees of side vision in light commercial vehicles.

Lens-Tech developed the product in response to the growing professionalism of the van delivery sector and a desire from ­fleet managers to achieve high levels of care, responsibility and safety across branded company vehicles.

Mike Eastwood, business development manager at Lens-Tech, said: “Just as with large truck and tractor units, there’s also a significant mirror blind-spot problem with vans of all sizes.

“The problem’s different, but the result’s the same: the driver remains ‘blindsided’ in a deadly, mirror ‘no-zone’ angle that exists in an area directly behind the van’s side panelling on the passenger nearside”.

Lens-Tech’s R&D team has examined driver viewing issues in vans over the past few years and, having identified the critical mirror “blind-spot” area, set about creating a suitable lens fix.

The company said its first pre-production prototypes were shown to various van ­fleet managers and immediately caused a “gasp” when their drivers climbed aboard the vans used in trials.

At that moment they each realised to what extent they couldn’t see certain objects in the van’s nearside mirror, against what was actually being revealed to them directly through the Vantage Point self-adhesive lens, press-fitted on the inside of the passenger door window glass.

Typically, in a close encounter with a vulnerable road user (VRU), positioned just aft of the passenger door window and hidden just a metre or so away from the nearside panelling, the potential danger is invisible to the driver through the window glass or via the van’s mirrors, alone.

Lens-Tech is now aiming to roll out the product on a wide scale across industry.

It has already partnered with delivery firm Parcelforce, which has fitted Vantage Point lenses to its 80-strong Solent depot fl­eet, with its drivers participating in a major long-term trial. Interim driver reporting has established that most of the drivers have found the lenses an especially useful aid in coping with difficult manoeuvres and lane changing.

Lens-Tech has also recently become an FTA Bronze Partner in order for the product to be recognised within the association’s Van Excellence scheme.

This article was taken from the first issue of our Product Innovation Daily magazine series. Click here to read the first magazine, completely free.

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Commercial Motor

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