Cameras are coming to trailers

Cameras are coming to trailers

What you see--both behind your trailer and inside of it--might surprise you.

Cameras, once taboo in the trucking industry, are now almost ubiquitous inside the cabs of new trucks. At very least, the latest and greatest advanced driver assistance systems employ cameras for things like lane departure alerts and lane keep assist, to name a few technologies. Many fleets are putting outward-facing cameras in cabs to provide more context to safety related incidents in the battle against aggressive litigation. And let’s not forget that we all carry a camera in our pocket pretty much every minute of the day. So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that trailer cameras–both cameras that give you a view of what’s behind the trailer and cameras that show you what’s inside the trailer–are a growing trend and were on full display at this year’s ATA’s MCE.

Stopping into the Phillips Connect booth, we got a look at two such cameras and parsed through the applications. In the case of the rear-view backup cameras, Dan Forthoffer, vice president of corporate research and development, Phillips Industries noted that these cameras aim to “make the drive safer and yards easier to drive the truck around, hopefully increasing the comfort of drivers.” Phillips Connect’s rear-view cameras, which feature an internal battery charged by the marker lights, are typically installed in place of the center marker light on a trailer. Their design allows for continuous operation without requiring the marker lights to be on. A significant aspect of these cameras is their wireless connectivity, enabling drivers to pair with the closest camera using a mobile app.

Turning to the Cargo Vision cameras, Cliff Creech, senior vice president, Phillips Connect, noted that with the camera installed on the trailer, you can request an image from the camera and “within three minutes of the request, you’ll have a processed image and an accurate result from the model.”

Still, there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to trailer cameras–from installation options, operational use and the impact on truck driving safety. For all of the insights from Forthoffer and Creech, watch the video above from our stop in the Phillips Connect booth at MCE.


No script? No plan? No problem. Welcome to Fleet Equipment Unscripted—the video interview series that connects you with the greatest minds in the heavy-duty trucking world. Fleet Equipment Unscripted is sponsored by Hendrickson.

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