Transport Canada, through its ecoTECHNOLOGY for Vehicles program, retained the services of the National Research Council Canada to undertake a test program to examine the operational and human factors considerations concerning the removal of the side mirrors on a Class 8 tractor equipped with a 53 foot dry van semi-trailer. Full scale aerodynamic testing was performed in a 2 m by 3 m wind tunnel on a system component basis to quantify the possible fuel savings associated with the removal of the side mirrors. The mirrors on a Volvo VN780 tractor were removed and replaced with a prototype camera-based indirect vision system consisting of four cameras mounted in the front fender location; two cameras on either side of the vehicle. Four monitors mounted in the vehicle - two mounted on the right A-pillar and two mounted on the left A-pillar - provided indirect vision information to the vehicle operator. Four commercial drivers were asked to perform a series of tests simulating typical driving scenarios on a closed course test track. The tests included an object identification test, a blind spot comparison test, a coupling and uncoupling test, a quasi-static lane change test, a dynamic lane change test and an evasive manoeuvres test. The tests were performed both with the mirrors and with the camera-based indirect vision system. The results of the study provide an analysis of driver performance while using the mirrors in comparison to driver performance while using the camera-based indirect vision system. Driver acceptance of the camera-based indirect vision system was also analyzed through the use of questionnaires.
SAE International Journal of Commercial Vehicles7, no. 2 (30 September 2014).