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ASP – Collision avoidance on side loader

Increased safety – lower cost

Autonomous driver assistance system for the rear and loading area

Modern side loader vehicles are used for waste disposal in an increasing number of cities. Especially during reversing and without a banksman, the driver needs technical support to safeguard the rear and loading area. With the smart 3D sensor, ifm offers a system that not only avoids collisions in the rear area, but also ensures monitoring of the lateral loading area.

Usually, a small team is on the road for emptying waste bins: Besides the driver, other people are busy placing the bins near the kerb and later on manually hook them to the gripper at the rear of the vehicle. To lower costs, the waste disposal company in Paderborn relies on side loader vehicles. The difference to conventional refuse vehicles: The gripper is located at the side instead of at the rear. The vehicle operator manoeuvres the refuse collector parallel to the pavement towards the bin which was placed there before by the residents. The gripper grabs the bin automatically, lifts it for emptying and replaces it automatically on the pavement.

Abfallentsorgungs- und Stadtreinigungsbetrieb Paderborn (ASP) (waste management and city cleaning) is operated by the city of Paderborn and has approx. 150 employees.

Advantage:
Instead of several people, only one person, namely the driver, is required which saves personnel and keeps the waste disposal cost for the municipality and the residents at a low level.

Collision protection

This one-man operation is challenging when reversing, however, for example in dead-end streets: If so far one of the colleagues could act as a banksman, the driver is now on his own. Also the process of lateral loading of containers carries risks, caused by pedestrians, cyclists or simply curious children who could access the hazardous area. Therefore a technical system was installed at the vehicles which is an alternative to the banksman and which is accepted as an alternative by the German Trade Association.

Dietmar Regener, Dr. Ing., Deputy Operations Manager, ASP Paderborn: "The system can support our drivers during reversing, i.e. the driver is warned in time when somebody is approaching the vehicle. The big advantage of this system is that it does not only give warnings but that it even stops the vehicle if the driver does not react in time. Besides, the system offers another advantage: We do not only monitor the rear area but also the process of loading containers. And the situation is the same as for reversing, namely that the vehicle monitors the area, warns the driver and, if the driver does not react in time, stops the emptying process of the container so that a dangerous situation does not occur."

Smart 3D sensor for mobile applications from ifm

The O3M system from ifm predicts collisions and, if needed, may actively intervene with driving. The complete intelligence is integrated into the sensor housing and can be configured in a few steps via an easy-to-use operating software. So ifm offers a cost-optimised solution for more safety that can be used for different types of vehicles. The core element of this system is an integrated 3D camera chip from the automation specialist ifm. This camera creates a 3D image by means of the PMD technology which provides an exact distance value for each image pixel. This image information is evaluated by predefined algorithms in the smart 3D sensor.

On the basis of different parameters, the sensor can be set to different installation and operating situations. As soon as an impending collision is detected, the sensor provides the respective signals - optically as visualisation for the driver but also stop signals, for example to the vehicle controller.

Conclusion

The smart 3D sensor is a stand-alone assistance system which supports the driver by reliably preventing collisions.

Dietmar Regener, Dr. Ing.: "We are now testing a system which has been in use for 3 months already. The first results are very good. Both we, the corporate management, and the drivers are convinced of the systems. The drivers say that it does not impair them in their work but, on the contrary, it supports them. Therefore we have now decided to buy another system for the second side loader and to use the system also for the other vehicles."

ifm provides a cost-optimised solution which assures automated reliability and also decreases personnel costs.