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October 31, 2019 7:00 AM, EDT

MEKRA Lang Launches New Digital Vision System

MEKRA Lang's Joe DeMartino MEKRA Lang's Joe DeMartino by Anneliese Mahoney/Transport Topics

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ATLANTA — MEKRA Lang launched a new digital vision system at the North American Commercial Vehicle Show, announcing the sideview-mirror replacements will be standard equipment on Mercedes-Benz Actros trucks.

Joe DeMartino, technical product manager for MEKRA Lang North America LLC, told reporters on Oct. 30 that the system will be two digital cameras mounted on the tractor, replacing the sideview mirrors. Images will be transmitted into the cab.

The cameras will not only improve safety and aerodynamics, but will improve field of vision better than the old-style mirrors, according to an accompanying MEKRA Lang news release.

MEKRA Lang officials said the single lens, off-axis optical system will be key to maintaining consistent image quality, without panoramic stitching, which tried to blend images together.

Features include digital trailer panning, which DeMartino said seamlessly moves the field of view in relation to the articulation angle of the trailer. The panning will allow drivers not to hit objects at loading bays, he said.

DeMartino said MEKRA Lang worked to eliminate “image freezing,” which means the digital display fails to update. The Charlotte, N.C.-based company’s system constantly does hardware and software checks to establish image reliability, he said.

Another issue to eliminate is image delay, when the picture displayed to the driver lags behind real time. The standard is image transmission delay of no more than 200 milliseconds. DeMartino told reporters their digital vision system beats that standard by “quite a bit.”

Digital vision systems were frequently seen on truck models at the NACV Show, as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration weighs wider usage.

On Oct. 9, NHTSA sent out a notice that it is seeking public and industry input on whether to allow camera monitoring systems to replace rear- and side-view mirrors mandated by a longstanding U.S. auto safety standard, according to Bloomberg News.

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