This week, the Federal Motor Safety Association (FMCSA) approved a request that will allow trucks to operate with their two rear-vision mirrors replaced by camera technology.
On December 26, the FMCSA announced that they have approved a request for a regulation exemption from Stoneridge Inc., a company that specializes in manufacturing electronics for commercial vehicles.
The five year exemption will allow any commercial vehicle to operate with Stoneridge’s after-market MirrorEye Camera Monitor System (CMS) instead of the two rear-vision mirrors required by federal law. The FMCSA found that “use of the MirrorEye system in lieu of mirrors would likely achieve a level of safety equivalent to or greater than the level of safety provided by the [rear-vision mirror] regulation.”
FMCSA documents describe the camera system as consisting “of multiple digital cameras mounted on the exterior of the CMV and enclosed in an aerodynamic package that provides both environmental protection for the cameras and a mounting location for optimal visibility.”
When petitioning for the camera system earlier this year, Stoneridge told the FMCSA that the Mirror Eye camera system would provide truck drivers with a host of benefits, including greater field of view and the elimination of blind spots. Stoneridge even claimed that trucks equipped with their camera systems would get better fuel economy than trucks with rear-view mirrors because their system was more aerodynamic.
Stoneridge also told the FMCSA that their camera system will could cut down on driver fatigue because it will require “less head movement by drivers compared to the number of head movement needed to use conventional mirrors.”
Some trucking companies like Schneider and J.B. Hunt have already been using the MirrorEye camera system in addition to rear-view mirrors. Both companies have reported “overwhelmingly” positive experiences for drivers using the camera system.
You can see the MirrorEye video system in action in the video below.